Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to Stay Young: The Harmony of Body, Mind, and Soul

I want to share another essay I wrote for our writing class at my campus. This is an example for writing about a process or procedure, which is indicated by the explanation about the steps you need to take to reach a certain goal. Out of all the topics listed in our textbook, I chose “how to stay young” because it interested me (and I am a lazy goose because I didn’t want to do too much research, which was required for the other topics). Anyway, I hope it can be a useful referrence for anyone who is also learning about how to make different kinds of essays.

How to Stay Young: The Harmony of Body, Mind, and Soul

Time is often a plague for every consciously aging person. Wrinkles and fatigue become clear symptoms of passing time. Freedom becomes limited as the body becomes less dependable. The mind is somehow not as sharp as it used to be. Life itself has fed the soul with a variety of experiences which are either unfortunate or painful – at least those are the ones which most often come to mind. Therefore, for many, regaining and maintaining youth has become an ambition. For a considerable number of women, it has even become an obsession. Wrinkles are considered as unforgivable defects on their beauty. Millions of dollars are spent on plastic surgery and cosmetics every day. Some people consume expensive health tablets to regain their energy and boost their brain power. Others schedule regular appointments with therapists to seek answers to their never-ending discontent and sorrow.

The question is, are all these efforts worth it? People spend a lot of money just to maintain a piece of their youth, whether it is beauty, health, or the long-lost feeling of true joy that once filled their childhood. Very few realize that what they need is actually not very complicated – nor very expensive. Long-lasting youth can be achieved when a harmony is created between the body, mind, and soul. Each of these aspects requires a certain amount of appreciation and care, which can be ensured by following a few simple steps that involve less frustrating efforts and unnecessary spending.

First and foremost, take care of your body. There is no need to take expensive and dangerous shortcuts such as plastic surgery to halt those wrinkles. The simplest way is just to eat well. Firstly, make a healthy diet plan. List all the meals you plan to have in a week and recheck it to make sure it is balanced. Most importantly, make sure you will actually like those meals. There are many foods that are both healthy and delicious. Secondly, make sure you actually buy those foods in accordance to your list when you go to the grocery store. Refrain from buying any junk food, however tempting they may be. Thirdly, go home and prepare those meals without complaining. Tell yourself that you are doing a big favor for your body and you will reap the results afterwards. Combine this effort with regular exercise. Download a Yoga or aerobics tutorial from YouTube. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.

When your body feels better, your head becomes clearer and it is easier to think. Most of us don’t realize that junk food creates toxins that prevent the brain from working as well as it should. Now that you are avoiding it and eating healthier food, you are rewarded with an optimized brain. So, after following the first step, what you need to do is enrich your mind. Since your brain-power has been boosted, you can feed your mind with numerous information that keeps you brilliant and, therefore, young. To begin with, make a reading list. Scout for interesting books on the internet; ones you will really enjoy reading. Go to your local bookstore or library to claim them. Schedule a certain time for reading every day. Perhaps you could do it for half an hour before you go to bed. Next, keep up to date with the news. You should know what is going on in the world today and keep an open mind. You will find that your intellectual capacity has not deserted you at all. Lastly, do not forsake your imagination. Let it run free once in a while. Write a fictional tale or tell a fantasy-filled bedtime story to little children.

After you have done such efforts to invigorate your mind, you are ready for a deeper experience. It is time to feed your soul. It is not enough to cater to the needs of your body and mind only. You have to remember your inner self. Start by re-evaluating your personality. Can you consider yourself as a good person and be content with it? What habits would you like to change? Next, act upon it. Remember that there is always room for improvement, so be open to any renovations on your current self. Keep a positive attitude. Spend more time with your friends and family. Be kind to others and love unconditionally. You will feel the change like a breath of fresh air. Others will feel this positive change and embrace it. Then, last but not least, pray. Rejuvenate your faith. Realize that you are abundantly blessed, even after all the hardships you have faced. You will face more obstacles in the future, but keep believing that God is always with you. With Him at your side, you can conquer mountains. Know that He loves you and will love you more for all the good that you give to those around you.

Age can be both a blessing and a curse. However, the important thing is not to avoid it, but to spend it with care. If one manages to face life positively and keep the balance between the body, mind, and soul, one may conquer time, thus youth will be eternal. This quote could be true for anyone. Let it be you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Essay: The Hijab Fashion Trend and Its Effects in Indonesia

It seems like it has been an eternity since I last made a post for this blog. I have been darting backwards and forwards between school and work and other freelance jobs, struggling to keep up with time. Old story, huh? Anyway, the least I can do for now is post a few writings I have on hand.

The following is an essay I made for our writing class. We are currently studying how to make good thesis statements and their corresponding supporting statements. I’m enjoying it, even though we have to submit a new essay every week. This essay was the first essay I made for the class. The topic is “Fashion” and I limited it to Hijab Fashion in Indonesia.


Title: The Hijab Fashion Trend and Its Effects in Indonesia

Hijab is considered a symbol of religious faith for Moslem women all across the globe. It displays the value of modesty and beauty at the same time. Nowadays, more and more women, young and old, are embracing it as part of their lives. This phenomenon can be seen in our very own country, Indonesia.

There are many speculations as to how the hijab “trend” has boomed into existence in Indonesia. Some say it is because of the increasing rate of Islamic organizations’ movement. Some say it is because of the reverse-psychological effect of 9/11 which put Islam into the spotlight. Others, especially those categorized as possessing the more conservative faith, say that it is just fate. Islam has reached its inevitable glory and one of the indicators is more women embracing hijab.

However, a more generally-accepted theory doesn’t border on the development of Islam as a faith and religion itself. It borders on something more common-place and down-to-earth. It says that this display of faith was actually triggered by the heavily stigmatized industry which is fashion.

These past few years, certain prominent hijab fashion designers from Indonesia have gained significant acknowledgement both domestically and internationally. The names that come to mind are “Dian Pelangi” and “Irna La Perle”. Dian Pelangi is famous for her youthful and chic sense of style. She has brought tie-dyed fabric back into the scene and the way she wears her scarf has been followed by many young women in Indonesia. She has already displayed her collection on the Paris fashion runway and she is only in her early twenties! Meanwhile, Irna La Perle, several years above Dian Pelangi, adds a more elegant and sophisticated nuance to her designs. She specializes in using soft fabric like chiffon and combines middle-eastern and European culture in her designs. She is the ultimate choice when it comes to wedding gowns for Moslem women.

irna-la-perle-8.jpg (934×700)

This positive development in Indonesia’s hijab fashion industry has brought major effects in Indonesia in many aspects. Firstly, in the economic aspect, producing and distributing hijab fashion has proven to be a very fruitful business. As more women embrace the hijab, the demand for the latest Moslem wear increases. The unique hijab styles from Indonesia are also popular in other countries such as Malaysia, so this triggers a surplus from the nation’s GDP.

Secondly, the social media has been an attractive platform for hijab fashion. This is not merely because it provides space for online shopping. In essence, it actually correlates with the basic idea of social media itself: freedom of speech. Many young women have made videos about why they decided to embrace the hijab. Hijab tutorial videos have gone viral on YouTube. Hijab fashion websites continue to multiply. The viewers are also multiplying, which is beneficial for both the dawa’ (Islamic preaching) purposes and also the social media tycoons.

Lastly, in the psychological aspect of the women themselves, embracing the hijab has affected their personality positively. Wearing the hijab is believed to be a sign of commitment to the God, Allah. Therefore, this concrete act of faith should give them more peace for abiding by His laws. Furthermore, the hijab is supposed to act as a shield from wandering eyes. It reflects a woman’s modesty. Women who embrace the hijab should also feel more protected and dignified.

In conclusion, the positive development in hijab fashion in Indonesia has also given positive effects to those who embrace it. Indonesia receives acknowledgement for its success in endorsing the trend. In addition, women everywhere are experiencing the changes it brings to their lives and themselves as individuals.

So, Moslem ladies, have you worn your hijab today? ;)