Not Just The Ordinary Beauty

By Kenny Thomas

The first and foremost reason I am keeping this blog is to keep my own writings. I put so much hope that miracle happens everyday so I can write about them and keep this blog going. And, I want to inspire you dear readers that there are good things happening in this world, hoping that it sparks that fire in you to do the same, and that’s second.

One very exciting moments working in a hospital specialised in women and children is that I get the chance to meet kind hearted visitors like Michelle; a kind, soft spoken, and beauty with heart lady.

It is pretty normal to have visitors to the hospital and visit the warded patients. Michelle and her parents did their second visit last Saturday after the first one they did on Easter, earlier this year.

What Michelle did by distributing face masks and crocheted beanies to the children warded in the Oncology Ward seems to be the simplest way to show kindness to others. When I started to ask myself, “what makes them wanted to do it”, I couldn’t help myself but putting out my so-called a-writer’s-desires-to-know-for-everything; by gathering all informations from the 10 minutes chat with Michelle and her mother, Florence; write about it and hoping what this daughter and mother did would inspire you to do the same.

Brought up by loving parents to the only child in the family, you can actually expect the hundred percents of everything would be given to the child. Love, attention and everything positive to it, is what nurtured Michelle to do good things in her life.

Michelle runs a beauty salon, and at the age of 28, that’s quite an achievement. Mr Wong, her father told me that she studied Software Engineering but I bet the influence from Florence, her mother made a shift to her career to become a beautician.

“I’ve met a lot of nurses and doctors coming to my salon and they tell me about their daily life in the hospital. That’s what made me to come and visit the hospital because I want to see it for myself,” Michelle said.

When asked about the difference between her first visit and the recent visit to the hospital, Michelle confessed that it was hard during the first one. “It was my first time seeing all the children like that. And how I see the parents accompanying the children and go through the pain with them is what had taught me about love,” she said.

Michelle wanted to find something to give back to the community. And for her, monetary donation is not her kind of way of doing charity. “Instead of giving money, food or cloth that don’t really needed by the people; I prefer to give something that has personal touch just like the beanies we distributed to the cancer patient children. I chose that way of helping which I can really see the benefits to the children and feel for myself,” she said. I agree with Michelle on this, and seeing the children smiling after receiving those small yet meaningful gifts from Michelle is what the world needs more from us. The world needs more people to care and love for others.

Besides running a beauty salon, Michelle also ventures into the soap making business which founded by Florence, her mother.

Beauty With Heart…(left) Michelle & Florence

3 years in soap making business has given Florence the chance to share and educate her customers the benefits of using all natural and organic products.

Florence started using cold processed soap which is different from the soaps sold in the retail stores. The soaps are made from vegetable oil namely olive oil and coconut oil. Adding in raw ingredients such as aloe vera creates more goodness and benefits when using Florence’s handmade soaps.

There are many reasons for the things that we do in life. And Florence started the soap making business because of the sensitive and dry skin she has especially on her hand and heel. “I bought handmade soap from a soap maker and I’ve found out that my skin has improvement after using it. Slowly from there, I started to learn to do it myself from online. It was fortunate that by learning it myself, I achieved a success learning,” Florence shared the story of how she had started the soap making business.

Florence and her family started using only the soap made by herself. And Michelle brought up the idea to sell the soap in their shop. Gradually and slowly the business is growing by introducing more items such as skincare, lip balm and other cosmetics. How they gained confidence and trust from customers is by using the product themselves first hand before introducing to others.

Florence during Jesselton Artisan Market

Small steps lead to bigger goals. At the age of 54, Florence is hoping to expand the business and getting approvals from relevant authority. Besides selling the handmade soap in the shop, she also offers soap making class. Florence and Michelle often having a booth during Jesselton Artisan Market, a curated showcase of Kota Kinabalu’s skilled artisan and their creations. Just in case you missed the event, sopandco is on Instagram.

Michelle and Florence share the common values within them; kindness, love, persistent and believing in good things. I just love them both. At the end of the meeting, Florence told me that she always tells herself that if she has the chance, she wants to help other people more in her life. She proves herself that she is not just the ordinary soap maker in town or just the ordinary beauty like her daughter, Michelle. “When the business gets better, we want to contribute more to the people,”she said.

Heart of gold; Michelle and Florence rocked my Saturday by being the miracle I hope to happen everyday./END


Instagram users share yoga stories

This writing was published on a local printed newspaper Borneo Post in 2014. And it was also the very first time I had my byline on a paper. I am putting it in this blog just to remind me that I can do good in writing and hoping to improve from time to time. I hope you all dear readers enjoy this piece.

By, Kenny Thomas

“Sharing my yoga progress and gets feedback from others who share my passion empowers me to learn and dig more,” says Instagram’s avid user, Caroline Charles who was first used to be so cynical about yoga.

Carol starts yoga with home-practice by learning via the internet in July 2013 after seeing it trending among blogger friends on Instagram.

Four months later, she decided to join a yoga class because of the urge to have a certified yoga instructor to guide her physically and expected to learn the techniques, alignments in a healthy way.

“This way, I can practice at home safely!” stressed Carol, an Unduk Ngadau winner for Keningau district level in 1997 and also a teacher at a primary school.

Little did everyone knows that it is a whole load of possibilities to get the daily mojo to boost your self confidence from whatever photos share on Instagram.

Instagram, according to the Wikipedia, is “an online mobile photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.”

Like Carol, she has been using Instagram with her handle @chegucarol before starting yoga and the amount of time she spends on Instagram is more than that she is on Facebook pr any other social platforms.

“I post more on Instagram. While the other way around, it’s also easier to find yoga inspiration and motivation from the photos shared by the people I followed. Likes on my photos? Who doesn’t fancy getting many thumbs up on the photos?” said Carol when commenting on why she hooked on to Instagram.

“I am proud to say that I have more good feedbacks than bad. That of course makes me happy. It’s like you have given something back in return.

“I know this because I see a lot of my friends who have inquired about yoga from me turned up in yoga class that I recommended. Or some who started by doing home-practice. All the same, I feel wonderful that I have played my part albeit a tiny one,” she added.

The same things happens to Sheen Apin, a homemaker of two who is a gym fitness junkie and also a yoga self-learnt practitioner.

Using her handle @avanus and her own hashtag #nunutyoga on Instagram, Sheena has been very active to share her yoga progress photos.

She gets so much satisfaction by sharing her yoga progress photos which allows her to get direct feedback from her followers on practicing techniques.

“I hope to inspire others with my passion,” she said and she did it.

“My followers on Instagram are motivated to start practising yoga and the connection via the mobile app helps to maintain the motivation to keep going,” she added.

Another yoga lover, Stella O Kunjan (@stellaclaire_r on Instagram) who just returned from the UK, shared her yoga-Instagram stories.

It all started in June 2013 when she had learned some yoga postures from her online friends on Instagram.

“I love to join the yoga daily challenge on Instagram hosted by yogis around the world.

“The yoga communities on Instagram are very supportive. It’s very exciting that I am meeting (virtually) yogis around the world through the social networking service,” said Stella, a former civil engineer who quit her job to be a superb mom to her son.

Why taking it to Instagram is very simple for Stella.

“It’s amazing to see my progress photos on Instagram. It makes me happy. So in that sense, happiness must be shared,” she added.

There are thousand of ways to inspire and be inspired.

For Carol, she still finds herself peeking at other people yoga photos and wonders if she can do as good as that person. Thus, learning to honour thy self is what matters the most.

“In life, it is not about us competing with others. You are your own competition,” Sheena said.

When Things Happen For A Reason

Things happen unexpectedly most of the time.

I came back from a mobile Blood Donation campaign last Friday straight to my office; it was hot during the mobile and it was cold in my office building. I left my blazer in my car earlier before departing for Kepayan where we had the mobile; and I couldn’t stand the cold like always; and I planned to go to the car and get my blazer to save me from the cold.

The plan didn’t happen. When I was heading to the car park, I saw a mother and her newborn baby; no other family was with her. What made me to stop by and ask her if everything is alright, it was when I saw her baby was put on a table wrapped with a pink baby towel while the mother was standing beside it and adjusting her shirt. I was worried and asked if there’s any problem.

The mother looked at me and said,”I was stopping by to breastfeed my baby.”

Upon looking at the mother and her eyes, the eyes were half closed..and I knew that she couldn’t really see properly. She was telling me she wanted to pay for hospital bill and I showed her the, I didn’t actually show her but I told only the direction because my mind was being selfish and only thought to get my blazer. I knew I had to get the mother, that’s maybe my nature to offer my help.

I turned my way back from going to the car park and straight to the Revenue Unit. I saw her and attended to her needs.

I talked to her nicely and had the privilege to hold her newborn baby. The baby boy is 3 days old. I had to ask questions because I was concerned.

She is a 32 years old lady, her parents died, she stayed with an uncle but no longer has the privilege to stay in the house because she decided to look for her only brother. The brother doesn’t wants to know anything about the only sister he has, so she starts living her own life.

It is her first time pregnancy, and first time having a child on her own. When I said no other family was with her during the labour, that meant she was on her own. Where’s the husband then? I choose not to answer this.

It was on Friday when I encountered this incident, and because I had other commitment on the same day, I had to cut short the plan to help her and her baby. I drove her back to her place after my working hour at 5pm, I recorded her number on my phone and I promised to call her the next days. Today is Sunday.

Things happen for a reason, people might just need our help at that moment of time. If I don’t be aware of my surroundings and close my eyes not wanting to know about others, the mother and her baby will be left with no one to help them out.

What happened that day was extraordinary. It reminded me of the cause with Aunty Lahai Paren when I had my first solo journey to Miri, Sarawak last June. I never wanted to be a special chosen person to help others. But those moments came to me where I couldn’t really resist myself to offer what I can do to help.

Most of the times I share those moments on my other social media site. I neglected this page I own for so long. I feel the urge to write what happened on Friday on this blog. I feel better now.

To date, writing is really the best therapy. I feel better now. Yes, that’s the second repeat. I feel better now!/END

Learning : a way of self-improvement

IMG_9062I’m continuously looking for ways to self improve.
I always want to do things that I thought I’ll be good at.
And, I know if I want to be good at things I must learn.

Once you stop learning, you start dying – Albert Einstein

I wouldn’t want to take Einstein’s advice for granted.
I want to write a book, that’s my mission and I must master the art of it.
A lot to be done but being persistent shall get me there, one day.

Now, let me share you one thing I’ve learned. It’s about writing a Haiku. I learned about Haiku few days ago through some of the blogs I followed. And, I googled “How To Write Haiku”. No shame, it’s a learning process. I know I won’t get anything if I don’t learn. Google have been my favourite tool to look for  -How To- stuffs.

So normally, Haiku is a way of expression about nature, moment of beauty or poignant experience. (Source: Wikihow)

The Haiku I wrote is about passion to write.
Here it is.

Writing does not stop
Ideas never cease to flow
And so does passion

In order to be good in writing, I knew I needed to get this Haiku checked. So, I texted my blogger friend, Angelina Albinus. Angel is not only good in writing, she is also a talented makeup artist, and she is also a teacher. And, she is definitely on my #pesonabutiza list as well. (I’ll write more about this soon)

Angel was the first one to see the Haiku, and to check for grammar error. I would say she is my peer editor besides Mr. Ramesh (Oh, I certainly have so much to write about this man, later).

What did I learn from Angel and writing this Haiku?

  • The verb ‘writing’ is Gerund. Gerund is verbs (verb+ing) that are used as nouns. Gerund is always singular. We say “writing is fun”, never “writing are fun”.
  • Why did this gerund come into our discussion? I wrote “Writing don’t get old”, Angel corrected it as “Writing doesn’t get old”.
  • So, did you get my mistake? I’ve got it.

Thank you Angel, you’ve been helping me a lot.
And there’s one thing Angel told me after the short discussion.
She told me this, “It’s good that you still love to write. To be honest Kenny, I’m inspired from your writings now. Keep on inspiring Ken.”

Look, who inspire who now? I would say, we inspire each other.
I hope you would find your own journey of learning as a way of self-improvement.
Let me give you cheers for that.
Cheers to your journey!


fullsizeoutput_43777 days passed without an update.
I had conversations during those days.
Different kind of conversations.

An angry conversation.
It was overwhelmed by the desire to fix but ended up with war of words. It was the kind of talk no one would ever put their interest into it. And me, I preferred silence than a hoo-ha when that conversation happened. I did get the picture for getting into the sullen muteness but I just had to until I was ready to confront. The outcome didn’t really matter when I had the chance to say my piece of mind. After all, what more important is to find the calmness within myself.

A candid conversation.
I met this person only once in my lifetime, it was more than five years ago. I found courage to ask because my instinct said, this person can be trusted and willing to listen. It was not a face to face conversation, I texted. And, I felt so much relieved. I didn’t expect to be understood when I had the chance to let things out. We shared quite the same personal matter, how can I not be feeling grateful to it? I felt even much better when I’ve got this reply, “Feel free to talk, at least I know I still have friends that still care and say Hello to me.” I couldn’t be thankful enough for the tête-à-tête knowing that I am not alone anymore. Thank you babe, you know who you are.

A oneway conversation.
This was a conversation with myself. There was a lot of “What if”, “I wish”, “I want”, “Why” during this self-talk. The talk was occupied with thoughts, hopes and dismay. It was all running through my mind. Mixed feelings were everywhere and at the peak point of the conversation where I couldn’t handle the hot and cold of it, I decided to just stop. It was tiring but worth the time for a self-reflection. And, if I like it or not, this is the kind of conversation that will occurs over and over again.

And now, I’m hoping for a promising conversation.
One that that will keep me in a buoyant state of mind all the time.
One that will stay as my favourite conversation.

What’s your favourite conversation?


365 Days

fullsizeoutput_4375I created a new category for my postings – it’s called 365 Days.

I dedicate this category for my daily postings about the day I’ve gone through on that particular day, my feelings (angry, happy, satisfaction; everything about feelings maybe), food I eat, my OOTD, meetings or activities, it will be most probably about the DAY in general.

Though it is called 365 Days, but I don’t expect myself to post everyday for the category. I am telling myself that it is not an obligation to blog about the DAY for every single day. It will look like writing a diary and pouring things out.

So, let me start with the first post for my 365 Days here.

Today, November 6th 2017.
A normal, it’s a productive one I must say.

I’ve met the office strategic partner to discuss about the upcoming activity.
I’ve texted my favourite cousin to ask about the 2018 Pro Planner and it has been shipped out today. I am quite excited for the planner!
I’ve cleared out all the official letters on my table at the office! Yay!

I’m on my 2nd day for the 30 Days Yoga With Adrienne, I’ve found her on Youtube. It was pretty intense, but I had so much fun with the stretching games on my body. It released the stress out of me. Yoga? I’ve stopped for quite a long time ago, but I forced myself to come back.

That’s pretty much about the day, I’ve made it counted.
365 days, make the days count 🙂

One After Another

The title says it all.

And, it could be a bad luck or a good fortune. It is how you look at it and what you are going to do about it. You’d failed the exam before, you were so disappointed and you didn’t carry on. Another problem took place, you ran away and hide. To you, it’s a bad luck after another.

Your friends; they were so lucky. Nope, They were not. They’d failed the same exam sheets. But, they repeated and passed the paper. They burn the midnight oil. That’s what they did. They didn’t run and hide. Instead they took every chance to make things better. Not only for themselves, but people around them.

Don’t say “It’s my bad luck. One after another. Never ending problems.” Be optimistic. It is your future.

Same thing goes to myself. I am not going to tell that this is my 3rd 4th blog, I don’t even remember which is which. But yes, it’s one after another. No, it’s not a bad thing.

Telling myself this – Try to be good and maximise your talent.

Go-saeng Ggeut-eh naki eun-da

The Korean proverbs means at the end of hardship comes happiness.