Posted in Uncategorized

Nature Sketch: A Poem about the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia

An inspirational devotional for your soul.

Jimmy's evergreen glen and glade

(Source: © Khellon |

Is it possible to find a poem that reads like a devotional?

Yes, there is a poem called “Nature Sketch” written by me.

As most authors would testify, they usually write their books firstly for themselves.

Similarly, I wrote my poem as a way to inspire, encourage and express myself, hopefully in a way that befits the subject.

But I realised that by publishing it as a book, I can also inspire and encourage others.

So what is “Nature Sketch” all about?

“Nature Sketch” is a poem about the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia.

It is written to serenade the “silent sentries”, also known as the 12 Apostles, a nickname for the intriguing coastal landforms located along Great Ocean Road.

It invites readers to relish the gems found within the narrative about Nature’s work of art and develop a love and appreciation for the beauty…

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Posted in Gratitude, Inspiration

Transitioning to my new website and starting a new Facebook group

To all my readers and followers,

Happy New Year. May 2018 be your best year so far.

Recently, I have created a new WordPress blogsite called Jimmy’s evergreen glen and glade. Thank you for reading and following my posts here so far. In future, I will be posting more often in my new blogsite.

My new website introduces who I am and what I do for a living; namely writing, editing, photography and video-storytelling.

You are welcome to drop by and read and subscribe to my new blogsite, where I share my life stories, reviews on workshops, and so on.

And if you would like to get free tips on basic writing and editing English, do check out my new Facebook group “Write Better English with Jimmy Tan“.

Hope to see you on the other side/site.

Posted in Healing, Psychology

Facing our fears and shame

Fear and shame are like monsters under our bed.

Too often, these unwanted feelings remain repressed and buried in our subconscious.

As long as they remain hidden, they can exert power over our words and actions unconsciously.

But when we choose to face them, we begin to see them for what they are – illusion.

After all, fear is said to be False Evidence Appearing Real.

A notable shame researcher Dr Brene Brown said, “If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”

In this video, I share about how facing our fears and shame can be a form of psychotherapy, as we make the unconscious conscious and free ourselves from the power of these repressed emotions.





Posted in Psychology

Ignite Video Challenge

There is a song called “Words don’t come easy”.

For me, words don’t come easy, especially when it comes to speaking. I tend to write more than I speak, as I usually express myself better in writing (well, hopefully) than in speaking.

I have become afraid of public speaking since young because I have been made to feel as if I didn’t matter, or my views didn’t matter, whether at home, in school or at work.

As a result, I have become reclusive and reluctant to speak. When I do speak, I usually take time to warm up to make a speech or engage in a conversation.

However, lately I have embarked on a new venture. I have joined a free 30-day Ignite video challenge which started on 11 September.

This video challenge helps me to deal with my fears and anxieties as I learn to take videos of myself speaking to the camera and share them in the Ignite video challenge Facebook group.

This group serves as a safe and non-threatening environment, where team members share videos and offer encouragement and constructive comments for further improvements with one another.

It is an upward journey to me, as much as it is an inward journey.

I would like to thank coach Sam Choo for recommending this video challenge, as well as those in the online community who have encouraged me along the way.

In case you are interested to check out the video challenge workshop, here’s the link:


Posted in Language

Primary 5 English Grammar: A Recap

What I am learning about Primary 5 English Grammar

1. Past continuous tense

(a) To show habitual action, with adverbs such as ‘always’ and ‘often’.

e.g. Dan was always eating chocolate when he was younger.

(b) To show two continuous actions taking place at the same time in the past.

e.g. She was listening to the music while she was doing her homework.

(c) To show two actions, when it is used together with the simple past tense.

e.g. He was surfing (past continuous tense) the Internet when the phone rang (simple past tense).

2. Present perfect tense

(a) To show an action that has been completed at the moment of speaking.

e.g. I have completed my work. Can I play now?

(b) To show a past action that has continued until the present.

We often use phrases like ‘so far’ or ‘up to now’ in these statements.

e.g. He has not improved on his performance so far.

(c) To show a past action that is still continuing in the present.

We often use ‘since’ (to show when the action happened) and ‘for’ (to show how long the actioon has lasted) in these statements.

e.g. I have not seen my uncle, who lives in English, since I was young.

e.g. I have lived with Grandmother for many years.

3. Past Perfect Tense

(a) We use the past perfect tense to show an action that had been done in the past.

(b) Often used with the simple past tense to show two actions that had been done in the past. The past perfect tense refers to the action that happened first.

e.g. After Jimmy had finished (past perfect tense) his dinner, the phone rang (simple past tense).

e.g. The children had slept (past perfect tense) when we arrived (simple past tense).

4. Conditional Sentences

(a) The first conditional sentence shows a real possibility that something might happen.

e.g. If it rains (present tense), we will not go (future tense) to the beach.

e.g. If the teacher is (present tense) right, then the student was (past tense) wrong.

e.g. If you heat matter (present tense), it expands (present tense).

(b) The second conditional sentence shows that a situation is unlikely to happen.

e.g. If I were (past tense) a bird, I would fly (future tense) to the ends of the earth.

e.g. They would attend (future tense) your party if you invited (past tense) them.

(c) The third conditional sentence shows that something can never happen.

e.g. If you had come (past perfect tense) earlier, you would have met (would have + past participle) Daniel.

e.g. We would not have lost (would not have + past participle) the match if it had not rained (past perfect tense).





Posted in Psychology

Reflections of passion

By doing what I love and sharing what I know, I put myself on a limb and risk being criticised, misunderstood or attract jealousy.

Depending on who I share my experience with or who I teach, something in me may stir up something in my audience, whether positive or negative feedback or traits or vibes etc.

I am also in the process of growing, being moulded and refined even as I put myself out there to share my experience. Will I be subject to the same temptation of jealousy, fear of being embarrassed or rejected, and so on?

I suppose a good teacher would want their students to become equipped and empowered, and ultimately do better than me in their own area of expertise.

Teaching, after all, is not about competition as it is about continuing and passing on a legacy of positive contributions to humanity and Nature, for future generations to grow, thrive and prosper in good time.

Posted in Healing, Psychology

Understanding a woman and her feelings

all is love

“This is one of the most life-changing articles I have ever read. I make 100 copies at a time and hand them out to everyone. It takes 5-10 minutes to read, but worth every second. It helps women to understand their feelings, be responsible for how we are wired, and will help men to help their women out of a shutdown. Here is the article from Alison Armstrong:

The most important article I have ever written. Please feel free to pass this on to all the women AND all the men in your life. – Alison.

Heart and Lungs, Life and Energy Imagine, if you will, a woman. Let’s look inside of her. Not the way a doctor might see her, but someone with more intuitive vision. In the center of her chest is a very unique organ. It looks like a disk about the size of a salad plate, up to two inches thick, and it fills her chest. When it is healthy, the color is a vibrant red or magenta or red-orange, and the surface is soft and even bubbly. Like the lungs, it pulls life and energy in from the environment. Specifically from nature, from the joy of loved ones, from beauty. Like the heart, it is connected to every part of her body through a complex circulatory system. As life and energy are pulled into it, life and energy travel to every extremity.

This organ is called “her feelings” and it is the core of her being.

When a woman is delighted or happy, this organ fills with life and energy, expanding and expanding. The life and energy move from her chest to her lungs, and she may breathe more heavily or deeply. From there, the life and energy move to her throat, and she may laugh or giggle or sing. Continuing upward, her mouth turns into a smile, her skin glows and her eyes sparkle. The life and energy flow through her smile and skin and eyes to the people around her and they are uplifted. When the life and energy reach her brain, they fill her head with hopeful, loving, magnanimous, creative thoughts. And as they reach her arms and legs, hands and feet, her step becomes lighter and she may even dance.

This is when she is her most powerful, and paradoxically, her most vulnerable. Bask in her beauty and light and treat her with care.

Pain and Blackness, Silence and Immobility Imagine now that something happens which “hurts her feelings.” Intentional act or mere oversight, when a woman’s feelings are hurt, the process works in reverse. The rate at which this occurs depends on how harsh or shocking was the hurtful act or comment. It may take three to thirty minutes for the process to be complete.

Within a few seconds the organ has constricted, changing color to black or dark gray and becoming hard and tight like a rock or fist. Vibrant and pulsing a moment before, it lies lifeless. The woman might gasp as she feels the core of her being shrink and harden. Then this new death travels the pathways that life and energy flowed through just moments before.

Being closest to her lungs, breathing will be the first to go. She will feel as if she can’t breathe and her actual breaths will become shallow. Next is the throat. She will be able to speak for only a few moments longer and then the death-feeling will shut down all energy to her throat. The “silent treatment” that others dread is not voluntary. She cannot speak. Her eyes will suddenly become sensitive to light, and especially to people. She’ll have to avoid all eye contact, for it hurts them. After a few more minutes the life and energy is gone from her arms and legs. If she can’t cocoon, she’ll move slowly. If she can, she’ll find a safe place, curl up and become immobile. As time passes, her body feels heavier and heavier, like dirt is being piled on top of her.

In her experience, she has been completely shut down. Then the real mischief begins.

For one small, crucial part of her brain has a back up generator, which turns on as the rest herself shuts off. And it has access to a specific set of files. Let’s call it “the Rage Monster.” While she lies breathless, speechless, blind and immobile, the Rage Monster dips into all the records of irritations, annoyances, pet peeves, and any unresolved injuries. With only these to work with, the Rage Monster starts churning out speeches. Its fantasy is all-out verbal warfare. It plots revenge.

As time goes on, the Rage Monster will gather momentum. Physical proximity to the person who her hurt her feelings fuels the Rage Monster, giving it energy. Though lying buried under dirt, mute and blind, the woman may try to move to a distance from the source of the hurt, understanding intuitively that this might quiet the beast in her head. She may move to another room or out of the house altogether. On the surface, the Rage Monster may take over the woman’s facial muscles, making her look angry or upset. But underneath its rantings, a small voice in her head is pleading for help, hoping the person who buried her might come dig her out. For he or she is the only one who can.

On the Other Side

Now let’s look from the point of view of the man. Why a man? Because women are more vulnerable to the men they love than anyone else on Earth. And because feelings are different for men. Or so they have told me. Men’s feelings, while just as deep and significant, don’t have the circulatory system women have. Scientists tell us that men don’t have as many connections in their brains from the feeling centers and language centers. This is good, by the way. Different but valuable for many purposes.

So, having a different relationship to feelings in general, the man does not realize that he has just hurt the woman. Whatever he did or said was not intended to be hurtful. Healthy men (which most are) never intend to hurt women. And that same remark or action would probably not have hurt him. He has no idea that her feelings are the organ at the core of her being from which all life and energy flow. No one has ever explained that to him.

After a prolonged silence, he starts to worry that she may be mad at him. He hopes this isn’t true. If he loves her, then her being mad at him is the worst thing that can happen. He is hoping, and maybe praying, that she’s upset at something else, but please, not at him. As one man expressed it, “I’d pay a million, billion, gazillion dollars for her not to be mad at me.” For a being designed to pursue success in every area, this is the worst failure. She is the sun and the moon and both have suddenly deserted his life. And he doesn’t know why.

If she does something that clearly indicates that the anger is directed at him, then hope will die, he’ll know he failed, and there is nothing to do now but fix it. If he has been able to fix it in the past, he’ll quickly respond. If he has never been able to fix it, then he’s really sunk.

Until the woman does something that overtly communicates anger, like going to sleep in the other room or stomping out of the house, he’ll keep hoping that it isn’t him. This is how the woman can be left buried under the dirt in darkness and silence for hours. He doesn’t mean to be cruel. He doesn’t know that she’s drowning and that he’s the only lifeguard.

“I’m Sorry I Hurt You” Raises the Dead

When he does go her, he’ll want to confront the anger head-on. Because he thinks it is real. He doesn’t know that it is the Rage Monster’s default program of miscellaneous junk that really didn’t bother her that much at the time. If he engages the Rage Monster by being angry himself – perhaps because it seems unfair to him that she is angry – then he’s likely to hear all the trash that has been being gathered and rehearsed. A smart man will treat it like the garbage disposal backing up. An informed man could avoid it altogether.

Beneath the anger is the hurt that shut down the whole system and enabled the Rage Monster to take over. If he says, “I’m sorry” – and means it – life will suddenly flow back into her chest and make its way to the rest of her body. It will take a while to reach all the different parts, so he should be patient. But as soon as he says, “I’m sorry,” with true kindness and remorse, the generator to the Rage Monster will shut down and its products quickly fade away. Her true self will take over her mind and her vocal chords again.

What should he be sorry for? Women usually need to hear “I’m sorry” for two things. She needs him to apologize for whatever he said or did, or failed to say or do. And here’s the catch – even if it was justified. Suppose he was late because his boss kept him at work. Completely understandable. But she still needs him to apologize for being late.

The second thing is even more important. Sometimes it is all that matters. She needs him to apologize for how he made her feel. She needs him to apologize for hurting her. He should say, and mean, “I’m sorry I hurt you.” If she suddenly sobs when he says, “I’m sorry I hurt you,” he shouldn’t fear. This sob is a powerful release of the hard, black fist that has gripped her chest. These words open her prison, and soon, she will be tearful but almost smiling, and on her way back to breathing in life and energy again.

“Ouch” May be the Magic Word

Having recently discovered that Greg, my husband of ten years, didn’t know any of the above, I became passionate about telling every man I know, and encouraging other women to do the same. I also began to wonder if there is a way to short circuit the whole cycle. I asked Greg what might happen if, during the few moments before my throat shut down, I said, “Ouch.” Would that alert him to my being hurt? Would that have the lifeguard jump into the water immediately and save me? Greg thought it might.

I understood, of course, that saying “Ouch” would not be easy. When I have been hurt and the system is in the processing of shutting down, making me more vulnerable seems like the last thing I should do. But I was determined to try it at the earliest opportunity.

The very next evening Greg said something that hurt my feelings. Since I was on the way to the market with my mother, my throat didn’t immediately close down, so the Rage Monster could vocalize. I called Greg on my cell phone from the grocery store and gave him a piece of my mind. He reacted in anger and, naturally, fought back. That made the Rage Monster boil to dangerous levels. Some will of mine prevailed and I hung up, thereby gaining some crucial distance.

As I picked out cucumbers and peppers, a small voice in my head said, “Perhaps you should have said ‘Ouch’.” The Rage Monster responded, “It’s too late for that!”

When I arrived home, all the usual symptoms were there. Although I was preparing dinner, I moved slowly, I could hardly speak and I couldn’t look at Greg at all. Then Annie, my youngest, volunteered to get something from the garage refrigerator, where Greg was at the time. Suddenly, I broke through and said, “Annie, tell Dad, ‘Mom says Ouch’.” She looked at her sister like I was crazy so I repeated myself more emphatically. She said okay and went to the garage.

I think he ran. A moment later he was encircling me with his arms and saying, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I hurt you. Thank you so much for saying ‘Ouch.’ Thank you so much for telling me what you needed.” Suddenly I could speak. I told him simply what hurt. He apologized. We hugged. And it was over. Just like that. I haven’t had the chance to try “Ouch” again. By understanding so much of men’s behavior, I am rarely hurt by the things they do. So it was an experiment of only one incident. But since then I have spoken to hundreds of women about our feelings. They have all agreed with the description here. I encourage you to try “Ouch” yourself. Whether you can do it in those first critical moments, or muster the ability some time later, as I did, I think it is worth doing. I would love to hear how it goes. Peace.”


Posted in Healing

Self-care is priority

Self-care is essential at all times.

It can mean slowing down and breathing more consciously.

By doing so, it can reduce the risk of accidents, the risk of overeating, the risk of making unwise decisions or saying inappropriate words, and so on.

Mindful living and breathing is the key to better health and safety, better relationships, better financial management, and so on.

Posted in Freedom, Healing, Love, Psychology

Protecting my vibe

One of the hardest things to do perhaps is to love and accept ourselves and be gentle with ourselves and others at all times, as we live in constant interactions with society.

We are constantly being judged by others, no matter how well we conduct ourselves, how well we speak, how good our intentions are, how much we seek to improve or learn from our mistakes, etc.

If people judge us, perhaps it is because they haven’t learnt to love and accept themselves as they really are too. (The same goes for us, as we all are on a journey.)

Self-love and self-respect is so important that it requires practice on a constant basis, with the need for mindful breathing, for continual awareness.

How do I know when I haven’t really loved and accepted myself for who I really am fully?

  • When I fail to be gentle with myself because I have allowed shame to cripple me instead of using guilt and contrition as an impetus to grow and learn to do better
  • When I don’t carry myself with respect and dignity because I forget to be mindful and watch my body posture
  • When I judge others, because I haven’t learn how to integrate my light and dark sides
  • When I place expectations on others to fulfil my needs, not realising I am already complete and whole
Posted in Uncategorized

Same and different

There is a time and season for everything, I suppose.

A time to like watching movies, where people act larger than life, and a time to relate to reality shows or documentaries, where people behave the way they do in the off-screen world.

The human nature and condition remains the same. There is something about the teachings of ancient wise people such as Buddha that endures over many lifetimes and generations, such as the teachings on impermanence and suffering.

Yes, I have gripes about the modern world, and I do vent every now and then.

But if I were born in early BC or AD, I suppose there would still be problems in the world. Power struggles, inequality, injustice and so on.

Maybe due to technological advances and Internet, we become more informed about the problems.

Environmental destruction and pollution and extinction of animal and plant series are increasing at an unprecedented rate.

How can we not despair?

But on the other side of the coin, we do see some improvements in terms of literacy, convenience of travelling, material comfort, infrastructure, and so on.

Is the cost of “development” worth it?

I don’t know because how do we quantify or qualify the costs and benefits accurately?

Furthermore, it may benefit some but not others, at any point in time.

And sometimes it might seem to benefit at first, but the cost seems to outweigh the benefits later on, and vice versa.

Perhaps life is as abstract or as concrete as we make it out to be. Simple or complex? We choose.

Duality and singularity seems to go hand in hand, for there cannot be one without the other.