Working on that ‘stubborn gladness’


She has podcasts on it too! Have it a go and listen. ūüôā

Been reading on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic and trying to sink in ways on how to amplify the mundanity of existence. Ah yes, let’s file this under: the writer’s odyssey of finding simple everyday joy out of life.

It is getting pretty hefty boring following the ways of ‘day in- day out’ monotonous living. It is all in the same routinary circles of home-work-home process [+ and maybe a few here and there fitness/ nightouts]. [Lol, on the few].¬†And I think it’s time to shake things up a little and find more light, love and positivity out from the ordinary.

And there are kazillion ways to do that.

But let’s start first from the little things and keep this chill and simple.

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, she writes about the creative living. And how creativity is a path for the brave. She got inspired by this wondrous poet in the literary world– Jack Gilbert, a marvelous writer and extraordinary professor. He inspired many as he gave¬†an inciting soul-food advice¬†of how one can find meaning and¬†zest in life. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“We must risk delight,” he wrote. “We must have the¬†stubbornness to accept¬†our¬†gladness¬†in the¬†ruthless furnace¬†of this world.”

Students told me he was the most extraordinary man they’d ever encountered…

He didn’t so much teach them how¬†to write poetry, they said, but¬†why: because of¬†delight. ¬†Because of stubborn gladness.¬†He told them that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.

Most of all, though, he asked his students to be brave. Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their capabilities.

While this can mean several things for many, ultimately it calls on to me about our journey towards building the fullness of our being. It is about finding joy, contentment and acceptance about who we areРcelebrating the many uninterrupted capacities and cosmos within us, as well as our capabilities to grow in them. Pursuing anything and everything that makes you truly you. ..That makes you happy. 

This phase of turning into adults and moving towards life’s “next stages” is a testament of the challenge. Think about it. Did you ever give up something you love because life got in the way? Did you stop doing what you love because of how the world discouraged you? Was it because of fear?¬†When was the last time you even held a crayon?

Alas, the challenge of finding that sweet spot. How to live like a purposeful, happy-filled, magical adult in the ruthless furnace of this world.

I gave up on art a couple years ago (as seen in my very limited posting of artworks), because of some challenges I have been facing. I didn’t think it mattered to me anymore since I have been preoccupied with life’s endless hoohah of adulting problems. I got so caught up finding work last year that I really did not bother with it anymore. And once I landed myself a job– I, again, got myself preoccupied performing …stretching myself to make ends meet. From living independently, budgeting expenses, to doing annoying laundry, cleaning the house, having wacked up social priorities – I lost it.

And whenever I try to go back and draw again, I just get even more bummed. I get so frustrated on how my mind goes blank and I couldn’t accept that I don’t have my creative juices flowing anymore. And since I have been feeling down and less of myself more than ever, I just grabbed a pen and drew whatever came up. The result wasn’t as a good as before (I feel like I am back to square one), but I am slowly starting to pick up the momentum again. Here’s a sneak peak at my latest doodle:


I am still a work in progress, a creative warrior trying to hold on to her the positivity sword. But I’ll get there. Again, it’s on the little things.

So start on the little things that could amplify your life a lil’ bit.

1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!

While there’s no clear cut and defined way to jumpstart your life towards creativity, I started my journey towards it by decluttering. I started by cleaning my email actually. hahaha. Then proceeded on to decluttering anything in my way– from cleaning my work station at home, clearing out foods that I can or not eat, lessening my alcohol intake¬†(HAHAH), airing out negativity, letting go, trying to have a capsule wardrobe…. name it. Let’s embrace minimalism people!

2. For heaven’s sake, look up.

Yup. Put down that handphone and give your poor thumb a rest. It’s been scrolling through endless snapchat stories, facebook feeds and tweets. I notice this a lot in Singapore. A lot of people are stuck looking at their phones (even while walking?!?!!) and no one really engages in conversations anymore. And I am trying to practice this more consciously now. Found out my neighbor is from Canada and he’s relaxing here¬†for a break.¬†The Uber driver and I had a pretty interesting talk on running. A person near my HDB block and I bonded over dog stories (hahaha).

Have it a go and talk to someone new today (yes, that hawker auntie counts). Or fine. Just make someone smile.

3. Really, it’s Nike’s Just do it

Mindfullness around you helps build ideas. Since I try to engage more with the world (old school), I am getting more and more inspiration with regards to what I do. I get ideas from people- from little conversations or to even the little sceneries I see during bus/ train rides. ūüôā And really, there’s nothing more to it than just starting. Pick up that old instrument of yours. Get a frying pan and start cooking. Grab your dancing shoes.

Really. What is there to lose?


Everything you do is a path towards better living and creativity. There’s no calculated answer. But as long as you strive towards it, I believe we are creating spaces to¬†live like magical happy filled adults. // Work on your own stubborn gladness.

Hope you find your way through it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s