There are times when blogging is so exciting that I could write every day because of the continuous flow of new ideas, and the energy is just there. And other times that the blog becomes stagnant because there are just too many things going on. I could write about many experiences since I moved into Iloilo – but I just couldn’t find the time to put them into words.
Today, let’s take a break from blog stagnation by talking about it. What’s even more remarkable is that I have with me in this writing a special friend, an animal advocate, a teacher, a naturopath, an aromatherapist, a hypnotherapist, a counselor, and a business consultant – Kazuko Tamamura. She’s indeed a little bit of everything! So, I prepared a few questions for her about dealing with stagnation, and she gracefully answered each of them. All right – let’s keep moving!
Many of us are living in stagnation, and some aren’t aware of it. It could be due to many possible reasons – burnout or fear of taking the leap of faith. If left unnoticed, it can throw everything off track, especially your goals. If there’s one thing I hate about in a day, it’s stagnation. I have known myself for doing everything to keep me being busy. I am not too fond of the feeling of being stuck. So, you always see me attending many things – a pro in multitasking.
However, being busy doesn’t exempt you from being stagnant. Even if you pull long hours every day at work for months, keep repeating the same thing every day, and feel empty without a passion, you might be stagnant.
Imagine a pond where water isn’t flowing in and out. Time passes, and you see it overgrown with algae. It’s stinky. Abandoned. Like a pond, if we don’t go after development, we become dull, inactive, and stagnant.
Interview with Kazuko: Dealing With Stagnation
I have prepared ten questions for her, and here are the responses:
How do you describe yourself?
Kazuko: Happy person. I’m a person who has been given a blessed life.
True. If there’s one thing that would leave a remark about Kazuko in me, it’d be her smiling face. If I were to look back to our previous conversations about her childhood experiences, I could see that she acknowledges how grateful she is now. When you look past life’s imperfections, you can see beauty in almost everything. Whether or not you realize it, a person like Kazuko, who always smiles, has an impact on others’ lives. Just so you know, happiness is contagious.
How is your life in Cebu?
Kazuko: I moved to Cebu from Japan in December 2011. The original purpose was to recuperate the eldest son and care for the grandmother. Touching the abundance of Cebu, Philippines, I moved the foundation of my life to the Philippines.
My two sons choose to homeschool, so we study together every day. They don’t belong to any learning program. They are free to do what they like and learn. Animal volunteering is also part of their home education, and all work is done with my kids.
The Philippines is a country that is good at embracing diversity. There is so much to learn from this country that my daily life is full of emotion and joy.
It’s incredible to hear this from a foreigner who has chosen to stay in this country where many of its citizens just take everything she said for granted. We all know that almost all Filipino parents try so hard to let their children experience formal and structured education. Parents sacrifice everything they have just to send their children to a better school. We couldn’t blame them because the past colonizations have greatly influenced this.
As for me, choosing for your kids to have an informal education is liberating. Because if I become a parent, I also want to send my kids to school. Going back to Kazuko’s case, the responsibility of shaping her children lies greatly on her – to equip the kids with the knowledge, attitude, life skills, and values. Even though Kazuko’s parents sent her to school before, she chose informal education herself. And now, she applies it to her kids.
9-year old Kazuko
What are the things that people don’t know about you?
Kazuko: I think others understand my nature and personality better than me. I am a straightforward person. I think anyone can see a glimpse of the great mass of passion within me.
If you’ve met her, I bet there are still many things you didn’t know about her. I even didn’t know she’s many things, that she’s juggling so many balls simultaneously. Go back to my introduction, and you’ll know what I mean. Yes, I agree she’s pretty straightforward. If she likes you, she likes you. If she doesn’t, you’ll know it. 😀
To summarize everything, she’s versatile. Give her something to do, and she’ll learn it. Adapting to do many things is indeed a life skill!
What gifts do you think you possess the best?
Kazuko: A compassionate heart and passionate power.
Are you still using these gifts? If yes, how often?
Kazuko: Yes, every day. At this moment too
When was the last time you took a risk?
Kazuko: This morning.
Do you consider yourself a busy person?
I beg to disagree (hahaha)! This lady can stay up to 3 AM. We always have our convos during the wee hours because either she’s doing something or done doing it.
Can you be busy and at the same stagnant?
Kazuko: When things are going well or successful, I think it’s almost like being in stagnation. So when things are going the best, I’ll adjust and prepare for new challenges ahead. So I have nearly no stagnation.
True. True. True. I realize that people aiming too low in life also become stagnant once they achieve their goals. It’s because nothing excites them anymore, and they stop setting goals. It also happens even to those goal-setters. They set goals but stop midway because their emotional state in achieving them could be different from when they first set them. Discipline now plays an important role. Staying away from stagnation requires effort, and that effort is fueled by self-discipline. Small or big – set new goals continuously, and prepare yourself to be a better you.
At this point in your life, how will you overcome stagnation?
Kazuko: It’s about throwing away what I’ve accomplished and achieved. Successful experiences in the past are not always useful and valuable for the future. What I will achieve in the future is more valuable than what I accomplished yesterday. And nothing is more fun than exploring ideas and methods that suit new challenges and environments. People who continue to show off their past achievements often do not seem very happy with their present lives.
I love hearing new and different perspectives about life. If you don’t read with an open mind her answer to this question, you are more likely to repel the idea. We have this popular thinking, for instance, that our educational and professional achievements define our self-worth. It’s true that when we achieve these, our lives feel happy and meaningful. However, if we continue to hold them, sometimes they become a barrier to trying new challenges.
But this doesn’t mean that our past accomplishments are already useless. We can always look back on them and review them to find out how we achieved them. This means extracting information such as our attitude, skills, methods, which could be helpful in the next steps on our career paths.
Staying away from stagnation means reviewing our accomplishments to move forward with confidence.
If there is one thing in your life that you’re willing to take a risk, what is it?
Kazuko: In every aspect of my life, I always choose risk. Never choose a safer path. It may not be easy, but I prefer to be thrilled. Life is an adventure.
Agreed. Even if it won’t work out, but trying to see if it does is what makes life an adventure. Always take risks.
Don’t Be Like a Stagnant Pond
Dealing with stagnation requires an effort – an effort to wake up each day with a goal. But the very first step is acknowledging that your life needs a change.
As for me, I like to follow more people, successful people, be around them and learn from them. It’s my passion to absorb new information, pieces of advice, be it about life in general, new business ventures, or self-development. Acknowledging the need for mentors and being open to new ideas allows me to welcome more growth opportunities – thus, staying away from stagnation.
Thank you Kazuko Tamamura for being one of my life mentors!
Cha of Little Misadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.