Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

a prayer answered..

Posted on June 26, 2006 by jimparedes

Do you dialogue with the world? With life? Does it answer back?

I did my meditations this morning and quite frankly, I was doing it in the midst of mild self-pity and a sense of loneliness in the middle of winter. There I was feeling alienated, uncertain in this new place I had moved to. I was homesick and missing my life back home. And even if I knew that my mood, like any other mood would also pass, I did allow myself to indulge in it. At the same time, as I sat quietly in lotus, I did ask God/Universe that I be connected to what I know to be the ‘best of me’—a state I seemed to be far away from at that moment as I wallowed in cynicism and negativity.

Three hours later, there was the ring of the doorbell. A package had arrived from zaadz.com, a website I had joined. Inside the box, I got the following message which I wish to share with you. It is the zaadz manifesto.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

So…uh…what exactly are you waiting for?
This isn’t a dress rehearsal…
Wake up!

Here’s the deal:
What we can be, we MUST be.
There’s no getting around that one.

So, turn off your TV. Put down your drink. Get off the medication. Quit numbing yourself. The pain’s not going away.

Not until you thinkarete.

Gandhi got it. Einstein got it. Mother Teresa got it. Tiger gets it. Gates gets it. Oprah gets it. The Greeks got it…

Get this: Guys like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle said that if you want happiness you better live with arête-a word that literally means virtue or excellence but has a deeper meaning… something closer to “constantly striving to reach your highest potential.”


How beautiful is that? It was one of the highest ideals of Greek culture. It should be one of ours. Tragically, it’s not.

We seem to be more interested in resumes, accolades and 401k’s.

Speaking of retirement… Who came up with that? Work our asses off doing something we’re not passionate about so we can accumulate enough money to pay the bills from our stress-caused illnesses while we bitch about what we should have done when we were still young. Hmmm… can’t quite figure that one out. Seems like it makes a bit more sense to go ahead and dare to live now…

Why not thinkarete? Think about it. When do you feel most alive? Exactly. When ‘you’re being yourself—your highest self.’

You want happiness?
Dream. Grow. Stretch yourself. Rip off the tie. Jump out of the cubicle. Dream. Think. Dare to be crazy.

What are you waiting for?

Are you crazy enough to think you can change the world? Good. Now go out and do it.
Live. Love. Smile. Hug. Laugh. Dream. Do. Create. Have fun. Be intense. Be audacious. Be unreasonable. Act impeccably. Breathe. Be you. Be different. Get paid to do what you love. Dance in your underwear on your way to work…

Why not?

Ditch the tie. Escape the cube. Leave the 8-5. Trash the resume. Ignore the critics.
And the cynics. Burn the corporate ladders. Laugh at the ceilings. Quit the bitching. Open your mind. End the laziness. Overcome the fear. Transcend the conditioning… Why not?

Move the world. Change the world. Push the human race forward. Whatever you call it, go out and do it…



Not when you have enough money or once you do this or do that. That’s nonsense. It’s not gonna be easy, but go out and live your dream.

Now. You deserve this. And if that doesn’t move you: The world deserves it.

Ready to seize your potential?


Go. Grow.”

After I read the manifesto, I just had to say thank you to the Universe for reminding me I’m still connected. I really needed to know that Life must be up to something and that’s probably why I am here. It’s crazier than I am and any of us. Life has its twists and turns and can be thoroughly unpredictable. To let life in is to let uncertainty in. The other day, I watched a mystic on TV and he paraphrased Joseph Campbell, one of my favorite authors saying that “when you see the path clearly spread out for you, you can be sure that is not the real path.” Life is a big mystery asking us to say ‘yes’. It is only in the unknown where aspects of oneself appear and animate into life.

Today, I read another of Campbell’s quotes which goes, “The demon that you can swallow gives you it’s power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.” Strangely enough, I found comfort in it. Suffering always has a gift but we must hang around long enough to acquire the gift. I am getting better at embracing the mysterious unknowns in this new chapter in my life.

Some trivia: If you look at the zaadz poster and count from the 1st row down 7 rows, and count from the right 6 spaces to the left, that’s me holding a guitar. My zaadz name is apojim. I was so thrilled to see this ad inside my favorite magazine called WIE (“What is Enlightennment?”). Wala lang. Simple thrills.

27 to “a prayer answered..”

  1. maricar says:

    Hi, my friend. I don’t believe in slaving for my retirement either – I am more of a ‘now’ person.Life is short enough as it is, why make it stressful? Enjoy LIFE – Live It Fully, Everyday!


  2. Anonymous says:

    whereever you are,make the most of what you can offer. you are given a lot of talents to share and not everyone is endowed with what you have. I know that you are passionate in what you do but don’t doubt because you are where you are for a purpose and be patient because in due time it will surface without you realizing it. be happy and continue to do what you love. we live for the moment and our rewards will come in due time. be well……

  3. sachiko says:

    I wish i can give you the same kind of kindness you have offered me and the many people around you but it seems that it’s me again who is being enlightened by reading these beautiful post and thoughts of yours. Thank you for sharing this.

    Hugs from sachiko…

    PS..i can almost see the end of the dark tunnel.. it’s almost summer here and i hope Jim gets his share of the sun soon!

  4. KaY says:

    Very enlightening … I sure hope I have the same wisdom you got when I reach that stage of my life.

  5. Leah says:

    Hi Jim,
    I wish I can do thinkarete….I dont know where to start. In time…

    Your writing is surely an inspiration. Looking forward to reading your books.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh thank you jim for sharing that. i was having one of those pity party moments today too. i was discouraged and felt like i was going at such a slow pace with regards to pursuing the career i wanted to do. but what made it worse was when my own parents gave me the thumbs down saying “i can’t ever make it”. that’s when i really lose it and all i can do is cry.

    but then after letting out those tears, then i have to push myself up again. life i guess is made up of “rise up moments”. when we are challenged to make a CHOICE. am i gonna get back up? or am i gonna stay here in this rut and let the words of other people hinder me from becoming the best person i’m meant to be. i CHOOSE to get up.

    we are all created for an extraordinary purpose!!!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Tito Jim,

    Mahirap talaga ang first 6 months to 1 year sa Owsi. Ibang-iba kasi ang buhay-buhay dito. Iba ang lugar, iba ang ugali, iba ang kultura, at higit sa lahat maaga mag sara ang malls!

    Pinag-daanan din namin yung feeling na gustong-gusto na naming umuwi dahil sa “home sick”. Lahat ginawa na namin kahit mahal ang “hapiness” …bili ng DVD araw-araw, pakabit ng Foxtel, subscribe sa now.abs-cbn.com, long distance sa Pinas, etc.

    Yung ika 6th month ang peek ng aming kalungkutan. Pero after nun pagaan na ng pagaan ang feeling.

    Malalampasan mo din yan.

  8. Bass Poet says:

    Hi Jim,

    I am in deep awe how our fellow beings find strenght and inspiration from your real life experiences. I believe we are all meant to encounter emptiness, sadness, loneliness, boredom and all what we label negative experiences. We need to be lost to be profound.

    Jim, what amazes me from you is your absolute honesty and truthfulness about the complexities of life…how these moments of desperation you were experiencing exclusively…have been “been there, done that” experiences for others.

    Based on the blogger’s responses, they instantly connected with your experience and immediately found new insights and perspective in living a life of virtues and principles. The outpouring of support and encouragement was fast, flowing and swift.

    This is thinkarete and livearete in the making!

    Keep on inspiring, sir!

  9. Doranne says:


    refreshing as always.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing Jim! Your support is very much appreciated.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Apo Jim,

    I am connecting with every words you say. You will be blessed with so much more for helping people like me to see things clearly. You and your beautiful family are in my prayers!

    Namaste! *your fan from Ann Arbor*

  12. Anonymous says:

    I just read a book by Philip Yancey (among other things, the editor of Christian Magazine) called Where is God when it hurts. In it he quotes a philosopher thus “God whispers in your pleasure, says in your conscience, and SHOUTS in your pain.” I guess pain is a wake-up call for us to appreciate life more than we normally do.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sir Jim,

    I had a similar moment yesterday.

    I was deep in thought and pondering my current situation (being between projects) while crossing Quezon Avenue near Welcome Rotunda. Almost broke and driven nearly to tears, heavy rains suddenly broke over my head and then just as suddenly stopped.
    I was so wet that I decided to go back home. As soon as I arrived, I found that a Fedex package had arrived for me. I opened it up and was rolling in laughter as soon as I discovered that my sister in Chicago had sent me, of all things, a RAIN COAT.

    Paul Farol

  14. lupalop says:


    Can I share this passage from the bible . I always express this passage to many of my friends and relatives.” In your hurts, your fears, your struggles, your temptations, there is no more wonderful promise than this: “I will never leave you nor forsake you: HEBREW 13:5

    God Bless,

  15. Jim says:

    maricar, maricar–Yeh! You’re my type of people!!

    Hey sachiko–always nice and comforting to hear from you. I feel better already. thanks. Pinagdarasal kita.

    kay–you will…and more. You have it already. Yo just need to wake up to it.

    leah–together with thinkarete is ‘do-arete’. As it says in the manifesto, ‘this is not a dress rehearsal.” Just do it!

    April–I have a feeling you will really get somewhere. Failure only means you’ve stopped trying. YO have not! There comes a time when you will have to listen to your own wisdom more than your parents. Go for it!

    anonymous–salamat. Intellectually, alam ko at nauunawaan ko lahat ang sinasabi mo. But’ it’s something else to experience it. The map is really not the territory. I just have to go through it, I guess. Dadaan din ito.

    bass poet–livearete!!! I like that! Creativity is getting it out of our heads and giving it birth in the real world. Thanks for the inspiration. We do need suffering to be profound. A full life is exactly that–the good, the bad and all the others in between. Salamat.

    doranne, anonymous and my ann arbor friend–salamat!

    Paul farol–hahahahah! That is synchronicity at work. The universe wanted to do a little joke. What a wonderful experience!!

    anonymous–great quotations from Yancey. thanks.

    lupalop-Thank you. Yes, the bible can be very comforting.

  16. Jingks says:

    I really admire you, considering not just your achievements as an artist but the way you inspire other people through your way of thinking. I personally believe about the abundance that the universe offers to all of us. You see, I’d been working for almost a decade now and here in office (a Japanese company making reliable hard disk drives) we were swamped with so many trainings to improve our work and management skills. But it was only when a special seminar about Abundance that I appreciated what really life is all about. I believe that its similar with your TCU. Sayang, I could have suggested to invite you to conduct your seminar here (if you’re doing corporate talks).

    It’s a natural thing that the universe give us everything it can give, we cannot stop it. We just have to recognize it and accept it. We should always be connected to others. You never stop from living a life which doesn’t flow…give and it shall flow back to you. “You can have anything you want as long as you give up the belief that you cannot have it” …You have to feel what your heart really desires. As we go on with our lives, we function as regular employees, practicing our profession to earn money..to live. If they’ll be asked who they are, they may simply relate to their own job title. When in fact, deep in his/her heart, he/she is a singer..a poet..dancer…painter…writer….We have to nourish our life by doing what we really love to do.

  17. rHo says:

    you’re such an inspiration kuya jim!! basta, there’s always a reason for everything… in God’s perfect time… malalaman natin ang sagot at hindi natin namamalayan, nakapag-move on na pala tayo!!!

    I’m so glad that I’ve met somebody like you (kahit sa internet lang)who’s open with every possibilities that life may bring!!

    Thank you so much…

  18. ALEXANDRA says:


    nice post! Im in dilemma too- between choosing what I want to do or what my parents want me to do. I guess this is the answer of my prayer, maybe I should really give
    “what I want to do” a try. Thanks!

    At least, there’s nothing wrong with trying. =)

  19. Anonymous says:

    It me again sir Jim, sana hindi ka makulitan sa akin.

    Just wanted to say that your songs and your current writings are a blessing to us.

    And one more thing, my mother-in-law had this to say about being in sad situations and I think she must have heard or read it somewhere,

    “Just keep your chin up and float.”


    Paul Farol

  20. Jim says:

    Jingks–Yes, TCU has a module on abundance also which is very liberating. I can relate to what you wrote because the sense of it is very TCU.

    We are not our jobs, moods, feelings. We are not even our personalities. What we really are is changeless so anything that changes is not us. We are more than what we think we are. TCU walks inside and explores that territory among other things. Sana you can join one of these days.


    alexandra–good luck!

    paul farol–thanks. visits and comments are always appreciated.

  21. Bass Poet says:

    Hi Jim,

    Pahabol lang and it is an empowering statement from your book, “Between Blinks”. Hopefully it will resonate profoundly to all the bloggers here:

    Between Blinks by Jim Paredes, page 87:

    “Negative experiences when properly understood, are divine gifts that allow us to bounce back with new momentum and wisdom.”

    Wow, that strikes straight to the heart and soul of our lives.

    Ingat lagi!

  22. mary rose says:

    sir jim!

    you never seize to inspire me…well, inspire everyone who read ur blog. thank you.

    thinkarete. yep, i should follow what it says.

    i’m a lil uncertain of what i really want to do and what would really make me happy. i’m not even sure how i would figure it out.

    i always get this:
    “why dont u take up law? how bout medicine?”

    i really don’t know. when i think about it, i think i wouldn’t be happy. i mean, people in those fields, should really be enjoying what they are doing, right? they need passion and drive to survive. i’m not really sure if i’m driven for those.
    and when i think about it, one doesn’t need to be a doctor or a lawyer to be successful.

  23. Witness Street says:

    Concurrence from a fellow Atenean who now understands the value of this tenet, tardiness be damned. 🙂

  24. Jim says:

    bass poet–Yes! Even if I writre it, I need to be reminded. We do have the power to change our take on things.

    mary rose–as a zen saying says, (I paraphrase) ‘Do not fret about what path to take. Whatever you choose, you are going home.’

    witness street–Said like an Atenean.

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  26. little light says:

    thank you for sharing thinkarette with us. =)

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