Selective mutism

I learned two new words today.

Selective mutism. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) puts this into perspective:

Some children are shy and do not like to talk to people that they don’t know. They usually start talking when they feel more comfortable.  However, some children will not talk at certain times, no matter what.  This is selective mutism.  It is often frustrating for the child and others.

The DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition) classify and diagnose social and mental disorder for selective mutism when you notice the following:

  • have an anxiety disorder
  • be very shy
  • be afraid to embarrass themselves in public
  • want to be alone and not talk with friends or others

I am seeing this more frequently in children who are bullied. But bullying into being cowered to the point of being silenced out of fear is not privy to kids alone.

Adults are not included in the DSM V classification for this as a social and mental problem.  And while its disorder is primarily for pediatric patients, hypothetically, the two words encompass what is seen in every walk of society and social class today.  When people refuse to voice out their opinion because are afraid of being bashed or sounded off when they provide personal thoughts on various social issues, “selective mutism” are two words that find relevance during these times.

It’s really difficult when you have to deal with intellectually disabled people who have a lack of GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) in their brains because they think they wear a crown.

We need to speak out, when we should. After all, that quiet voice is still a voice that needs to be heard. When all that silence is broken, it will be louder than you think.


It’s been raining for the last three weeks.  I mean, literally raining.  The city is drenched.  Kids have barely gone to school for the month.  Traffic is at an all time worst.  Gas is literally painful to pay.  Prices of commodities have gone up significantly. The peso has seen a drop in the exchange rate.

There’s really not a lot of positive vibes one can see each week.  Some friends of mine tell me they don’t even listen to the news lately.  During dinner at home, and we’re able to catch the news, my mom looks at the screen and comments “isn’t there any good news anymore?”

And I couldn’t help but agree. The only good news you see are that of the actors and actresses whose lives seem to prosper, in spite of the harder economic situation in the country.

This blog post takes a respite from the negativity and hope that some thoughts here will provide a more positive outlook during desperate times.

On past relationships and the comeback attempts

When the past comes knocking, don’t answer. It has nothing new to tell you.

Remember – been there, done that.  If someone has hurt you enough to let go, then you’re a masochist to want to relive that past.  Moving on means loving yourself first and foremost. Someone once said, “Don’t waste your time looking back, you’re not going that way.”

Actions and reactions

When you can’t control what is happening around you, challenge yourself to control the way in which you respond.

That, is where your true power lies.

I know that it’s difficult to be scrolling down a social media article and find irresponsible, ignominious and incomprehensible comments by either trolls or die hard purveyors of fake news (no political affiliation here).  Sometimes it’s more than frustrating because you know that there’s a jerk lurking out there, who needs to get a life, because he/she is too busy “commenting” on every news article!

But rudeness should not (always) beget rudeness.  I’ve always believed that while it may be difficult to not comment on stupidity, sometimes it’s easier to let go.


Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.

Work. Relations. Friendship.  Love.

Respect is the underlying and operative word.  When that’s gone – it’s time to leave.  No one needs to get treated like shit.  Even if there’s shit coming your way.  Every. Fucking. Day.

The good samaritan

Be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people.

If we can only change our paradigm on how to deal with human beings who are the epitome of scum, we probably would live in a better world.  But a utopian world does not exist.  Because we cannot please everyone.  Whatever challenges we face, we need to show respect to people even when they don’t deserve it.  Respect is a reflection of your character, not theirs.

The power of YET

Yes. You read it right. Three letters, one word. And yet it changes a whole paradigm.

“I don’t get it”

“I can’t do this”

“This doesn’t work”

I’m sure we’re all familiar with those moments of uncertainty and feel that life’s such an epic failure. If you’ve ever been there or are in this situation now, take a deep breath. Take your headset, go someplace where you can find tranquility or even just go for a walk…think about the three statements above but add YET at the end of each sentence.

It may not be easy, but it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be able to beat the challenge.

Two of my fave people (who sadly have passed away), to me are the best examples of resilience and strength.

Steve Jobs founder of Apple, tells us why we should never cut down trees in the winter time when he says

Never make negative decisions in the low time.

Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

And Stephen Hawking, former professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and author of A Brief History of Time paints resilience through,

One, remember to look at the stars and not down at your feet.

Two, never give up work. Work gives you purpose and life is empty without it.

Three, if you’re ever lucky to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.

And when we’re at the lowest point in our lives, don’t forget the three letter word that can change everything and the power of YET.

A life well spent

There are days that are just difficult to get by. Period.

We can’t have a positive life with a negative attitude. Think positive and sound becomes music, action becomes dance, and life becomes an art.

LIFE is like a flute. It may have many holes and emptiness inside, but if we work on it carefully, it can provide magical melodies as gateway to happiness.

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to it. That’s where your power is.

Be happy! Enjoy life everyday. Find reason to simply imbibe that feeling that even on our worst days, life is beautiful.

The sand

The sand teaches one thing. . .

You can’t hold too many things in life no matter what you do.

Even if you decide who you want to stay with, the wind will always blow them away.

So learn to let go and cherish those who stay because like the sand, only those at the center of your palm and those who are true to you will remain as your treasures.

Someone at work asked me why I always have a “happy disposition” despite everything.

My reply, “it is up to you to see the beauty of everyday things”.


When one goes through any form of experience, it changes the person. Their perspectives in life, their views on morals and values, their opinion of people and friends, their political color, and most importantly, their principles.

Judas is a well known character in the Bible. And whether you are Catholic in faith or not, the character of Judas is found in every culture of humanity. Judas is the symbol of betrayal. Of being a traitor. Of doing something abominable in exchange for money, power, fame or fortune.

They say that opportunities either make or break us. I’d like to think that it transforms us.

Transformation is usually painful. But it doesn’t mean that you’re falling apart. A butterfly has 4 cycles before it transforms to a beautiful adult – egg, larva, pupa and adult. And each cycle has its own goal. Where caterpillars need to eat a lot, the adults need to reproduce. Similar to our lives, we go through various cycles with individual growth goals that allow us to metamorphose into something different so that we have the capacity to be beautiful.

The butterfly is the star of this blog because it serves as a reminder that we have the ability at anytime in our lives, in spite of any traumatic event or life experience, we can transform ourselves into something beautiful.

The positive life

When it rains, it pours. And a negative attitude at our problems is never helpful. It’s funny because a lot of us (including me) believe that life, in order to be happy, should all be peachy. The reality is, we were never promised a rose garden in our life journey.

Sadly, we let stress dominate our world because we take the negative aura as stress factors. Maureen Killoran points out that

stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.

It’s like looking at a glass of water as half empty, or half full.

Practicing positive self-talk can serve as a different paradigm in our lives. We don’t need to react to everything that bothers us. And here are five pointers on having a positive mindset.

1. Awareness

Reframing our thoughts is the first step. Listen and be aware of them so that we can understand it better. One doesn’t have to make it complicated.

2. Challenge beliefs

Not all our thoughts are true. Don’t just accept what you think just because your mind wanders off there. Our thoughts don’t define us. We need to challenge ourselves by rising to the occasion of looking for truth and validating it first.

3. Choose your thoughts

By being aware of our negative thoughts we can choose to change our perspective on it and shift to a more positive one.

4. Check the environment

The environment creates a big impact on how we think and feel. For example, the workplace may suck tremendously or the home isn’t a healthy ground for understanding and love. Is your environment bringing you more negative feelings than positive ones?

5. Practice it daily

As the saying goes, when we practice it daily it becomes a habit. And positivity is a habit that is learned. When we repeat positive thoughts, we develop a gentler and kinder way of talking to ourselves more often.

(Adapted and modified from