Tag Archives: communication

Challenge ourselves out of comfort zone!

We are changing the way we do our current bucket list challenges!

From now, we are going to share the results of our achievements first, then inviting you to take the same challenges and let us know how you do!

Cindy and Loic_XmasAs the year is approaching to the end (2012) and heading to another new beginning (2013), we start to examine our individual and couple achieved and yet-to-be achieved goals & to-dos, to reflect on our personal learning and growth during the year, as well as looking at goals for coming months.

We have engaged just a month ago and there are lots of activities planned for 2013 already, including our lovely wedding!! We have few other bucket list activities discussed too… Definitely for us, we will be out of our comfort zone; the question is then HOW MUCH OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE??!!

We will keep you updated for sure!! And YOU LET US KNOW YOURS?

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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Thoughts


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Be daring in declaring love! (2012.W43)

(Ending Sunday 28 October 2012)

In this past Sunday, Loïc and I are engaged!!

Loïc has made his proposal, asking me to marry him, be his wife and be with him forever. Wow… that was a mouth full and very bold in asking, especially the ‘be with me forever’!! Or should I say, it’s I who is more daring to say ‘YES‘ (because by saying ‘yes’, I have committed myself; but for him, he just simply asked the questions, not made the commitment).

With this love note and our new long term commitment, I would like to encourage, challenge and dare every reader to boldly express and declare your love!! No matter it is for your girl/boy friend, wife/husband, partner, parents or secret lover, just go ahead and tell them (and again and again) via words and actions!

We all love to be loved and yet afraid to ask and give completely. Our past experiences or hurts plus self-protection mechanism may somehow prevent us to love bravely. Why let it stopping us from being in love and enjoying love? Why not invite ourselves to give a try, be daring and free? How about starting with simply declaring and saying ‘I LOVE YOU’ or “YOU ARE THE ONE I WANT TO BE WITH” or something intimate from your heart?

It’s your love life, your love call ~

Challenge: Declaring and expressing your love to the one who matters to you
Extra Challenge: Express with words and actions
Goals: To express your love within boldly and freely, leave no regrets and let your love one refilled with your love
Time required: 1 hour
Energy level: Medium-High (on heart & soul level)
Preparation: Prepare 2 declaration of love statements and 1 action

Here are few heart-felt statements for your reference:

  • My life is with a purpose when I am with you
  • I want to live the rest of my life with you
  • You make me feel so special
  • I want to build something great with you in life
  • You are the one I want to be with
  • You are exactly what I need in my life
  • You are my everything, my whole world
  • I want to have children with you
  • You make me feel at home
  • I love you even with your picky character; I learn to appreciate you the whole package
  • You make me feel loved and cherished
  • With you, I may start doing big project and not feeling alone

* Encourage and support us by sharing this post with your friends or clicking “LIKE” if you like our post:)

Don’t forget to share with us your experiences and how your life has changed because of the challenge!!


Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Weekly


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Day 28 – Give your partner time, space and patience to grow

Everything takes its time to grow, mature and consummate. By pulling the seeding, it will not help the plant to grow faster.

We have been brought up differently accordingly to our parents’ teaching, our social backgrounds, cultures and educations; we are learning through various thinking models, institutions and techniques; we are also growing and maturing based on our own unique personal experiences, failures and successes. Each of us has own favorite and effective ways of learning and requiring different time frames and space to grow. What is your most effective and efficient way to develop? In which areas would you like to improve and in what manners?

In a couple relationships, it is always easier to identify what our partners may improve, develop, grow up and get mature on. Our partners may agree or disagree on our views and take or not take actions subsequently. It is important that despite what we think or wish, our partners are individuals who are responsible for their own well-beings, own personal developments and growth, and we are here to support them, but not to take actions on behalf of them. Let them do at their own pace and timing.

If the above describes you in the relationship with your partner, taking this opportunity to open up a space where you are supporting and embracing your partner’s ways of enhancing him or herself. If your partner chooses not to do much about his or her own personal growth (after you challenge him or her out of own comfort zones), let him or her be. Perhaps your partner is thinking seriously and taking a break before starting or continuing. Let your own self-development be the inspiring example for your partner.

On the other hand, if your partner is the demanding, pushy one: express your gratitude to his or her goodwill on you; thank your partner for seeing your potentials and wanting the best for your development. Assure your partner that you are aware it’s your responsibility to grow, you are taking care of it; ask your partner to be patient and allow you to do it at your own speed and timing. Invite your partner to be a part of the process for the mental and physical supports, encouragements and recognitions, but not as an examiner who constantly checks for results.

Personal growth is a lifelong journey. It’s an honor to participate and be a part of someone’s development process, especially your partner’s. Seize the opportunity well, use your wisdom to support; let your involvements value-add your partner’s growth.

Today I love my partner by: (share it aloud to your partner)

Empowering and trusting he or she is taking care of his or her personal development; providing encouragements and recognitions when he or she needs it and a space allowing him or her to grow at own pace and timing.

For your actions:

(1)    Take time to think about how do you participate in your partner’s personal development? Do you take charge or empower and allow your partner to grow as he or she wishes?

(2)    How could you support your partner more in his or her own development?


Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Thoughts


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Day 27 – Handle your partner with care ~

Relationship is like a water balloon; once you throw or drop it too hard, it breaks, water splashes out and it is finished.

In a relationship, there are many instances where tricky questions asked (i.e. do I look fat?), difficult messages delivered (i.e. you have bad breath…), sensitive topics discussed (i.e. performance in bed…), heated disagreements and arguments took place, as well as various vulnerable moments shared (i.e. open heart to heart talk and make up conversations). Do you hold, carry out yourself with love, respect and consideration for your partner, do you choose your responses carefully and appropriately under these circumstances?

We are all humans and not all perfect; we have our own emotions, weaknesses, blind spots and ego. It’s so possible and easy, if we don’t stay focus on our partners or the subject and watch out for distractions, that a simple conversation may turn into a heated argument, or further into a physical aggression when we lost total control of ourselves. We may say or do things that we are not intended to or regret afterwards. This not only hurts our partners mentally or physically, but also indirectly harms ourselves and damages the relationship.

A healthy relationship is able to endure the rough patches within a couple, the unintended hurts or insensitive dealing of the situation. But when the frequency gets too often and the degree of damage becomes too severe, it wears down the relationship and the love for each other. An old metaphor: relationship is like a love bank account, when you give and show your love to your partner, it’s like making a deposit into the bank account, a little by little. When you do something that’s harmful or damaging to the relationship, it’s a withdrawal from the account, decreasing at a much faster pace.

There are four golden rules proposed below on how we could handle our partners with care:

  • Find out what is the underlying reason(s) or goal(s) behind these questions, messages or conversations; it helps to know which direction and approach to take; conduct yourself towards and always stay in the direction
  • Always have your partner in your focus; pay attention to his or her emotions, feelings, reactions, body languages and unspoken messages
  • Listen to your partner more than you speak, try 7:3 ratio; ask more questions in a caring way to understand your partner’s hidden messages or concerns
  • Slow to response, since it is important for your partner and yourself, take time to response, to choose the use of words and manners appropriately and smartly

The important thing is to handle the situation with tenderness and love, respects and patience, as well as consideration for your partner’s feelings. Make it another deposit made into the love bank account!

Example: say you find out the reasons your partner asks about if she is fat or not are (a) want your admiration on her figure; (b) your affirmation on your love for her irrespective her figure; (c) she has low self-confidence over her figure and wants some ego boost from you or (d) just want to know other’s view about her. Once you know the underlying reasons and messages, you don’t need to comment on ‘yes’ or ‘no’ so quickly, you may start with ‘you know you have a sexy body that attracts me lots’, ‘you are the right size for me’, ‘I like the way you are’, ‘I love you no matter your figure’ and offer some compliments, give some hugs and kisses. If she insists your answer, ask her ‘what makes her feel this way’ and just listen to her reply, lead her to the source of her own perception about self; perhaps through the conversation, she may realize something.    

Today I love my partner by: (share it aloud to your partner)

Handling my partner with care, thoughtful consideration, love and respect.

For your actions:

(1)       Take few events in your relationship and go through them in your mind, ask yourself if you have been handling your partner with care? How would you handle it better?

(2)       Give yourself a chance to try different way of communication with your partner; use the opportunity to discuss with your partner on the topic of ‘how to handle your partner with care’ and to do some role play for fun.

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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Thoughts


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Day 26 – Show interests at what your partner is doing!


What you are interested in is where your heart is.

Each one of us has our own interests, hobbies, activities and things that we are passionate about. Even when we are in a relationship, despite the common interests, mutual favorite activities to do together and couple goals to pursue, there will be parts that just not overlapping; a part that only belongs to each of you individually. Are you aware of these non-overlapping parts? What are yours and what are your partner’s? Are you both supporting each other’s non-overlapping parts?

Besides the common interests already shared between couples, sometimes we wish our partners may join us in doing that we like, however not particularly interesting for them, i.e. going to theatres, doing some charity work or going to Christmas or grocery shopping or fishing, hiking, parachuting and so on. We know we are in an equal, balanced relationship and respect each other’s choice of participation, i.e. will not force our partner to do things they don’t like; deep within we may still secretly hoping: ‘it would be nice if he or she accompanies me’, ‘only if my partner would be here’

If you know your partner has a little wish like this, why not pamper your partner once? Just go along and join his or her activities, activities that your partner is passionate about. If you haven’t tried the activities, give yourself a chance to (a) experience something new for yourself and see if you would like it, perhaps it’s not as what you have in mind; (b) be there for your partner. Try not to anticipate your experience before trying; because the experience may be totally overwhelming and bringing you something unexpected! Keep open minded.

If your partner never invites you or shows irrelevance if you join or not his or her activities; ask and invite yourself. It doesn’t harm for a couple to understand each other more and openly discuss about your partner’s hobbies, interests and passion (besides you). By asking and inviting yourself into where his or her interest (heart) is, you may open up the door of opportunities doing and trying out things together (where two hearts together) and exploring more potential common interests. The worst case, if you really don’t like it, at least both gave it a try and created a new experience together.

Shown interests in your partner’s hobbies or activities, even if you do not participate the actual events. Showing interests means you care, your heart and mind are with your partner, despite your physical absence. Be careful in the situation where you dislike your partner’s hobbies or interests, it is the hobbies or interests that you disagree, not your partner; your heart and mind may still with your partner (you may still show interests).

When you are interested in something, your heart and mind is with this particular something. You spend time thinking and learning about it, trying and experimenting, as well as sharing and inviting others to get to know about it. As you are already interested in your partner, invite yourself a little further: showing interests (i.e. asking how about it, how it goes…) in what your partner likes and giving supports through participation (i.e. joining the event, helping preparation, giving encouragement…).

Today I love my partner by: (share it aloud to your partner)

Showing interests and giving supports at my partner’s hobbies and interests.

For your actions:

(1)    Find out what is your partner’s non-overlapping part of interests or hobbies?

(2)    Choose at least one activity this week to start with and show your interests and supports as mentioned above!


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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Thoughts


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Day 25 – Romanticize your partner!

Romanticize your partner: to view or interpret your partner romantically or to make your partner romantic.

Not all of us or our partners are born with romantic flares or know how to be romantic; but what we all probably have experienced with our partners is a moment of love, a warm fuzzy heart-melting feeling with passionate love. If we look into the definitions of romance, it is defined as ‘a love affair’ or ‘ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people, i.e. love’ or ‘a strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something’. In this context, we are familiar with romance and we are all romantic.

The general statement on my partner is not romantic may appear as untrue in this case. Your partner certainly has the fascination and enthusiasm of you, otherwise you both wouldn’t be together from the start. Any time during the relationship, there must be affections, many heart-felt feelings, loving emotions and passionate moments between both of you; and these are evidences of romance in your relationship. You both are ‘romantic’. What we have overlooked is our actions of ‘romance’ and perhaps a misunderstanding definition of ‘being romantic’.

We are all different. We show our love to our partners differently. The ways you love your partner may be very different from the ways your partner loves you. Same goes to the ways of ‘being romantic’. You may expect a hotel weekend stay over with beautiful flowers, candle light dinner as a romantic gesture; your partner may simply think cooking together is romantic. The important point is to communicate and understand each other’s definitions and expectations of romance and romantic gestures.

‘Being romantic’ is an ability that can be learnt; especially learn from your partner. It’s like learning a new language between you and your partner; a code that only you two know and appreciate. It’s a fun and exciting learning experiment! When you see your partner’s sweet smiles echoing the heart-felt happiness within, you know all the efforts trying to be romantic are worth it. When the next time your partner tries to be romantic and your turn with the happiness, you will once see your partner’s sweet smiles! Positive circle repeats.

‘Being romantic’ is to create more affection, heart-felt moments, happy positive emotions, attachment, fascination or enthusiasm in love. It’s about taking the initiatives and efforts to pursue these moments. At the beginning of the relationship when everything is so fresh and exciting, it’s easier; as relationship progresses, it becomes important to pursue and create romantic moments continuously.

Find time for romance in your relationship with your partner. Romance is a lovely magical adhesive that rejoins any broken parts, conceals any cracks and reunites to a whole again.

Today I love my partner by: (share it aloud to your partner)

Romanticizing my partner in the ways he or she likes; and showing my partner how I like to be romanticized (perhaps my partner would like it too).

For your actions:

(1)    Find out how you like to be romanticized.

(2)    Find out how your partner likes to be romanticized.

(3)    Taking the opportunity with (2), discuss with your partner on both of your understanding on ‘being romantic’ and ‘romance’.

(4)    With (3), organize with your partner together and do something romantic J

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Thoughts


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Day 17 – The power of serving your partner!

Everyone has something to give, no matter it is big or small.

Mother Teresa once said: “Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time…” Love is an action word and through the actions of love, it’s serving others; serving your partner. Are you serving your partner?

Serving’ here is not in the context of being a servant and does what has been told; but rather choose to do something with a willing heart and without seeking any rewards or returns. We all want to be the queens and kings at home and in the relationship, to be served with love and care, be pampered and taken care of endlessly. This is possible in long term only if it begins with us. Serve your partner first as how you would want to be served. 

Each of us is bestowed with the ability to serve others, to give and share a piece of us, materially like our physical belongings or intangibly, i.e. our support, words of encouragement… or even a simple smile. If we are willing to shift our focus on our partner, open our eyes and ears to observe the needs of our partners and hear the hidden cries for attention and help, we may seize the opportunities to offer ourselves and enrich the relationship by serving our partners.

When was the last time you serve your partner, do something for him or her? It may be something small, like running your partner a bath, giving some massages, bringing him or her breakfast in bed to something a bit deeper, i.e. giving mental comforts and support, words of encouragements or offering empathy and compassion. It can be anything and can be more than what your partner needs. It’s up to us to decide that ‘serving our partners’ starts with us right now and it’s important to serve with a ‘happy willing’ heart!

By serving your partner, you are serving yourself and enrolling your partner to serve you.Serving’ provides us the opportunities to be part and to contribute to our partners’ lives and the life we are together; it validates our abundance in love and heart, as well as it gives meanings and values to our relationships with our partners.

Today I love my partner by: (share it aloud to your partner)

Serving my partner with a willing heart.

For your actions:

(1)    Take a moment to review your perception on and definition of ‘serving’. Does your current understanding affect how you could have helped others who are in needs? Will it make any differences if you see ‘serving’ differently?

(2)    Make some efforts in serving your partner for the rest of the month August.

(3)    Ask your partner “How well do I serve you?” and open up a conversation with your partner over this topic.

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Thoughts


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