Ling's Letters #003: Dancing with the Storm.πŸ’ƒπŸ»

Life can be a battle, or a dance. Which will you choose?

Ling's Letters #003: Dancing with the Storm.πŸ’ƒπŸ»
Photo by Felix Mittermeier / Unsplash

Till Easter Sunday, the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA) predicted

persistent precipitation, sometimes heavy and accompanied by thunderstorms

There is a slender tree with deep red leaves outside my kitchen window. Throughout the week, the tree was hammered by the downpour, wrestled with the strong winds and shivered at the unpredictable thunder.

Yet, the tree embraced it all.

In moments of calm, when the sun peered through the dark clouds, it stood tall and proud, having survived the unpredictable thunderstorm. Then, the cycle repeats, seemingly long periods of the storm with small moments of sunny calmness, again and again throughout the week.

I wondered... how did the tree survive? How does it repeatedly face the storm?

The sun is out at last!

I looked closer. The tree grows on a short slope, with roots deeply embedded into the hill. These deep roots gave it strength and stability from years of building its foundation.

In realising this, my mind opened. I saw the tree differently.

The tree was not hammered by the downpour; it humbly opened its leaves and branches to the rain. It was not wrestling but flowing with the wind. It was not shivering but laughing with the thunder.

What looked like a battle was, in fact, a dance; dancing with the storms of life.

Life has been a thunderstorm since the start of the Dragon year. The Dragon Year is meant to be an auspicious year. Instead, it feels like a year of continuous piling on of responsibilities.

The PhD project is gaining momentum, the ESG educational workshops are taking root, and my volunteer work with ReAct is evolving. These, along with other small projects, include learning Portuguese, cooking vegan food, and maintaining my meditation practice.

Like the frog in temperature-rising waters, my stress level grew along with my to-do list. All the while, I had neglected my physical, emotional and social health.

Finally, during the week of the thunderstorm, my body said, β€œNo more". Over the weekend, I became a hermit, nursing a cold, cough and fatigue.

Both Easter Sunday and the thunderstorm have passed, and sunny spring has arrived.

Looking out my kitchen window, the slender, deep red tree reminds me that what may seem like a battle now is actually the dance of life.


You may have noticed that I have updated my website.

  • There is an event page where you can register for upcoming talks or workshops, and it has a list of previous talks and workshops.
  • I have temporarily closed the Culture Spark Global website, as I work towards transforming it into an online educational platform about social sustainability. With my other endeavours, this platform will not be re-opened soon, though eventually it will.
  • Blog posts from Culture Spark Global will be updated and republished on this blog. To receive these posts, you can sign up for the newsletter or visit my website. Here are two posts you might be interested in.
Why We Need More Diverse Leaders Now?
With increasing problems at all levels of society, the world needs more leaders, from all walks of life, and not rely on the powerful few.
Stereotype, Prejudice & Discrimination: Why It’s Important To Know The Difference?
Knowing the difference between stereotype, prejudice and discrimination can help you determine the kind of support you can offer to those facing these issues.

Do leave a comment or two and let me know what you think. If there is a topic you'd like me to cover, do drop me an email.

Food for thought

Jim Rohn, a speaker and the author of The Seasons of Life, shares his views on responding to life's disappointments.

The only way to avoid being touched by life––the good as well as the bad––is to withdraw from society, and even then you will disappoint yourself, and your imagining about what is going on out there will haunt you and hurt you. Knowing this, there is but one solution that will support you when people and events hurt you, and that is to learn to work harder on your personal growth than anything else. Since you cannot control the weather, or the traffic, or the one you love, or your neighbors, or your boss, then you must learn to control you … the one whose response to the difficulties of life really counts.

Questions for you

  • What are you battling with now?
  • How can you make it into a dance?