Friday, November 4, 2016

Take a Stand

Take a Stand
Don't stay on the Fence
Take a Stand For Goodness
Take a Stand for what is right!
Your heart is telling you what is right
So why don't you listen to it.
If you stay on the Fence, you contribute to the problem
You become the problem
Then you can't complain
Then you can't whine.
If you say you truly want change, then take a Stand.
Take a Stand for Truth
We may never know the full truth, but take a stand for Your Truth!
Take a stand for creating a world that embodies what you want.
Be That Light!
Do you like what you see when you look out into the world?
If not, then take a stand for creating a beautiful world. 
I ask you -how do you want your children to be? What values do you want your children to have?
Do you want them to be cruel, angry, inssensitive, selfish, sexists?
Or do you want them to hold certain core values?
Taking a stand is for our children -
A Scarred Traumatized Child can grow up into a very angry dysfunctional adult.
Just look around you and see the adults in your life -
Do we want our children to turn out that way?
I take a stand on NO I don't.
So that's why today I'm taking a Stand to no more violence.

Journal Prompt:  Make a List of all the things you Take a Stand to!

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How were you brave today?

" How were you brave today?" I asked my son as we were winding down the night and he was getting ready for bed. And without even stopping to think about it, his answer was " I was courageous by going into a scramble of feet trying to randomly kick the ball somehow I kicked the ball to my teammate."  I listened with him more struck by the choice of words "scramble of feet" and validating the courage because to a child who is very cautious -I knew this was a very daunting experience.  But he did it :) 

Whether we realize it or not, we take brave steps every day. From trying to be friendly to coworkers who may look right through you, to going to a meeting that we wouldn't otherwise thing we have nothing to contribute to, to speaking your mind, to making a choice to stay away from individuals that are harmful to you, to making phone calls to people that actually owe you money, to making a stand to face the unknown and embrace whatever it may give us, to making life changes such as a move, marriage, launching a new project, or even changing a style of ourselves?  And so often so many of these actions are not looked at as courageous -it is something we don't validate ourselves for - we just simply do it and move on. 

What if we took the time to reflect on our simple acts of bravery. How would we respond to ourselves and more than that, what would be our reaction? If we had a mirror or a movie that would replay to us the brave act that we did - how would we feel? Would we want to change something about it? Would we be in awe? Would we look at that and say, "hey, i can't believe I did that - if i did that, then I can do anything i put my mind to."  Would we begin to be more understanding of ourselves and less judgmental of ourselves?

Courage is an act of bravery.  Courage is an internal force that speaks to you when you are often silent I believe.  It comes to you when you are seeking ways of changing or facing new situations. It is not so much a conscious act, it is impulsive.  It is almost as if your inner voice is speaking to you and pushing you to do something that you otherwise would not do.  Courage is not bitter, but sweet.  Because when one is courageous, one is also letting go of a shed of our skin by doing something new.  One is continuously moving forward rather than shrinking back or staying numb.  Being numb is fear -courage is willing to take a risk subconsciously or consciously by making a move. It's like in chess -we can't just stay in position, we have to take a stand and move in the right direction. 

So I went to sleep last night with a warm fuzzy feeling proud of my son for moving his feet in the right direction even if he may have been scared -resting in the fact that he knew he was brave in what he did.  Thinking to myself that this is a practice I would like to continue -

So a journaling prompt for you is :  How were you brave today?

Happy Journaling!

Friday, September 2, 2016

End of Summer.

September is here. I'm savoring the last three days before we go back to school, we go back to a regular routine of work and school life.  Part of me is dreading it because it means that summer is slowly coming to an end. I feel it in the air already.  This morning as I walked to my car, the breeze was cool, I saw people dressed differently - a woman had a scarf around her neck.  Change is coming. The change of seasons. And with the change of seasons, our lifestyle begins to change to. We go through this every year and every year we feel the same way. A sense of grieving to say good bye to the wonderful summer that we have had. I still remember Memorial Day Weekend and how that meant, summer was here, and that means it was beach and pool time. That sense of excitement.  That feeling of being on vacation because we get to spend extra day time hours just doing things we love to do outdoors. That feeling of jumping in the pool and feeling the cold water on my body and coming out so refreshed. Summer meant to me longer days, more sunshine and just enjoyment. And I knew I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to savor every minute because it would be gone before I knew it.  I don't know if I made the most of it or not, but I do know that this was a good summer, and for that I am grateful.

I got the opportunity to go away for two weeks straight and just tune everything out. I don't remember the last time I did something like that. It was just me, my husband and my son - and we just were together away from home, on vacation.  We didn't have a routine. We slept in, we ate, we drank, we swam, etc. It was great.  I found myself sleeping alot -how much of this was because of jet lag, how much because my body was truly tired and I was giving myself permission to sleep and rest. I found myself just being rather than processing. I didn't journal at all. I didn't feel the need to - and it was okay. I just lived. I figured the time to reflect will come on one of those cold winter days. And that's what vacation did to me.  It unwinded me. I don't remember the last time I felt so relaxed - physically. 

It is a grieving of some kind that we have to get back to a routine, or get back to "reality."  And then I realize we go through this every year. That sad feeling, or that longing for not ending.  In theory each season brings its own beauty. And we cherish what it brings to us, but there is something special about the summer months that we all mourn when it is gone.  We also know that it is temporary so we make the most of while it lasts. What if we changed our attitude to each season that comes our way? Embrace what we love and look forward about each season and make the most of it - because that too is temporary - so then we don't have that sense of loss. Nothing is really permanent -everything is a state of flux and work all the time.  It is us that must make choices to choose what really matters to us -and once we make those choices, we really begin to live.

I have to admit that for the last year or so, I have felt like a robot with my daily routine of work and balancing life. And while i know work is a means to livelihood, it shouldn't consume me. And so what this summer taught me was not to get myself too consumed in a routine because if you do, you become numb. When summer came, I found myself surrounded by individuals who just continuously worked - and would not stop to breathe. It has a ripple effect and I knew I needed time away from that. But I realize that is the situation of how this country has become.  Organizations want more productivity but dont' give enough. It is a disease that needs a serious cure - and the cure has to come from within.  The culture has to change.  You become a robot and almost mechanical.  Work in this country can do that to you - and it can make you feel like you are in a perpetual state of burn out.  The key is to find that balance and not let it consume you.
I don't have the answers as to how to not let it consume me again, but I have seen the extreme case of what it can do to individuals who let it consume them.  They are victims of anxiety, illness and suffering.  I guess because i have seen that, I take that always as a sign as to how i don't want to let myself get that way.  I want to live. And if I choose to live, then the choices I make in my life change -regardless of the work I do. So that life doesn't just pass me by like a movie.  Before you know it, the movie will be over, and I will still be there standing asking myself "where did all the time go?" 

So as the summer slowly comes to an end, I embrace the new that awaits. It is almost like a new year I feel - my son is a grade older, and with that comes new challenges. Work will be ever expanding, but I must hold onto what to my common core ideals before i let myself consume me. And the seasons will come and go and I will enjoy what it brings.

So enjoy the next month or so because we still have a full month because the weather turns chilly.  A journaling exercise I did a couple of days ago which I will share:

Why do I want to live?

Happy Journaling! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Help Ever, Hurt Never.....

The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another personal's suffering and bring that person joy.

- --Thich Nhat Hanh-- 


I read this quote and said to myself what a simple form of expression but yet so difficult to practice.  I looked at the news this morning and it was full of violent acts and just felt disgusted that we as human beings have allowed ourselves to resort to that level.  We have all been through some form of suffering in one way or the other at a certain point in our lives. We know what it feels like to be hurt, to feel pain, to feel the anger, to feel the bitterness, etc. and because we know what it feels like, why would we want to do that to another person - why would we be impulsive in our thoughts/actions/words to hurt another being. Yes others may act violent, others may be selfish, others may be narrow-minded, others may be insensitive and cruel - but if we mimic their behaviors we are equally contributing to the hatred and violence to continue. It becomes a continuous cycle and doesn't end.  What if we change our perspective and shift our perspective.  what if we change our attitudes and stop ourselves from making assumptions, from jumping to conclusions, from lumping all being to be in one particular category, what if we practice just seeing them for what they are and treat them like how we would like to be treated? we must begin to shift our lens not only for our sake, but for our children's sake. Our children should not be have to live with this kind of mentality and grow up to live in an intolerant society perpetuated by hate and fear.  

I liked this quote because it talks about spreading love and joy and the way to do that is by helping others - and it doesn't take much to help others. It could be a word, an action, a smile, a nod, a wish, a greeting, anything that can add to making another person's day better. And it spreads.  Because the joy/love you feel is transferred to another person and then that same person is filled with joy and then spreads it consciously or unconsciously to another person by random acts of kindness and then it becomes a ripple effect. Deep down inside of us we all crave to be loved.  If that's what we crave, then why would we think that does not hold true for another human being? Mahatma Gandhi says it so profoundly " I will not let anyone walk through our mind with our dirty feet."     Each violent thought is part of a larger creative collective force that gets sent out into the universe and it becomes a cycle.  So instead of succumbing to thoughts that shrink us, let us hold onto our core human values which will only expand us.

Make a resolution to be part of a movement to shift perspective, and be agents of change.  If we witness something that is unjust, we must say so, we must speak up, not remain silent.  And always try to help not hurt. Even if we don't get a pat on the back, even if we don't get acknowledged, do it in the spirit that you are contributing to a larger circle that will have ample positive ripple effects.

Happy Journaling! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Where would I go with you Sun?

" Where would I go with you Sun?"

I would travel around the earth with you so that I get to make stops in all the corners of the world where all my loved ones are both earthly and departed so I get to meet them once again and just spend time with them.

I would go with you on a journey to sprinkle lots of warmness to those suffering from cold

I would absorb all your energy so that it could be transmitted to every cell of my body so that I can feel your energy regardless of how my day is.

I would play "peekaboo" with the clouds so that I could make the children giggle.

I would go with you on a long journey so that I can learn from my past mistakes, and truly learn to live in the present. 
I would shine, shine, shine, so strong that the light in me burns and never extinguishes

I would spend time with you so i could learn from you how to love without expectation, to love without disappointment, to love unconditionally. 

I would go on a long journey only to want to return home!

Happy Summer Solstice!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Beautiful Soul

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ~ Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross~

Today I write in honor of my paternal grandmother -whom I lovingly called Nani -who is no longer on this physical plane.  About two-three weeks ago, she was not feeling well. She turned 90 this past december and for the most part, I would say was rather healthy for a 90 year old. However, she had taken a turn for the worse, my internal radar had me feeling like this could be the beginning of the end. It wasn't an over reaction, I just felt it. I have seen too many family members pass away and even though I wasn't physically with her, based on the information I was receiving, my only prayer was "god please don't let her suffer, please let her be pain free."  We don't know when death is going to come, and each time it comes, it hits you in a different way. But when it does come, we must remember the message and the life the person lived. We must grieve, because it is important to do so, but in grieving, we must remember their life. Their life was an inspiration, and we must take that with us.  We must be able to look back at the life that person lived, especially someone who has been able to live and see it all:) I was thinking about it the other day - what is it that she has not seen and heard? She has lived and survived through so much - in history, in family, in her evolution of her self, etc. 

We all deal with grieve differently, I like to write. I like to remember the moments, and cherish the times that I did have, because there are times that I wish I could have been with her, but couldn't make it. So instead of focusing on what didn't happen, I remember the moments. There is always going to be a "should have, would have, could have," feeling and it is important to be aware of our feelings, but regret gets you no where -it only fuels for more guilt. So I choose to do otherwise. I look through pictures, I write. That is what helps me heal. Last week, was my birthday.  This is one woman who has never missed any of her children's birthdays, her grandchildren's birthdays, her great grandchildren. She remembers numbers like a calculator and I was always amazed how she always remembered to call and wish. I was glad I got to see her on a video call. She wasn't well, but she was able to do that. So I am grateful for that. 

Today I want to celebrate who she is,

To me, she is and will always be the matriarch of our family. Losing her today is on many levels is like losing the link to our family. She was and is the thread of the family and to have that physically gone is sad.  But when we see the legacy she has left behind in her children and grandchildren, I celebrate her once again. I know she lived a good life. She has attended most of her grand children's weddings, and even got to know her great grandchildren. Her legacy lives on in them and in her children.  They remind us of what she believed in. But that is the kind of person she was. Silent, but strong. And if there was another word to describe her it is Strength. Her strength was unimaginable. And she gained her strength from her faith. So her influence was immense.  

She created a life for herself and came up with activities to keep her busy so that even though she had limited mobility, she wouldn't lose her mind.  She kept her mind active,  she was always doing something and so when I think of one word to describe her, it is the word "energy." She was pure energy.     She had energy in her - her spirit always moving onward, upward, always "doing" something,   Her influences on me were and are tremendous. She introduced me to Yoga at an early age. I remember as a child we sometimes would share a bedroom, and I would wake up in the early morning seeing her do her exercises on her bed. Those exercises stay with me till now, and then she would do her breathing. And that stuck with me. Her energy was incredible. If she visited, her first question to us would be, "what do you want to eat?" and she would add, "it only takes five minutes to make it not long." and lo and behold, whatever we wanted, within five to ten minutes we would see the whole kitchen upside down with pots and pans, and oil, and flour, and an array of sweet indian dishes. One thing I was always so impressed with was her passion for reading and her reading speed. She just didn't read in her native language, she read in English and to be able to do that as an adult was impressive. She loved the phone and was always calling everyone in the family. That sense of connection was important to her and it was amazing how she was able to be connected to everyone all around the world. If we needed to know something about someone, we could ask Nani, and she would tell us.

So yes she was and is still one incredible lady. Her soul was a beautiful soul and I pray that she showers all her love and energy on her family. I pray that her strength is passed on to her children and her grandchildren and her great grandchildren. I pray that no matter how old we get, and boy are we getting old, that we continue to have that energy that she had and find ways to keep us active.  And may we always remain as beautiful as she is despite what life may throw at us - life threw many things at her, and yet with her faith she remained beautiful, graceful and amazing.   

Journal Prompt: If you are remembering someone you lost, write a letter to them. Writing a letter to honor them, to tell them how much they mean to you, to just let your feelings out. Writing heals, and I hope you try it.

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fallen Leaf

Breathe like a fallen leaf and think of nothing.  Just Breathe and let your heart and mind be carried, however briefly, by the spirit you can't quite see. ~Mark Nepo~

"I am floating softly in the air. The wind moves me left and right and I move in the direction of the wind. I know not where I will land, and so I enjoy the breeze, the sounds of the wind, and the glow of the sun. I was once a leaf on a tree branch strongly attached to the branch. Then one day the wind got a hold of me and no matter how hard I tried to hold on tightly, I had to let go. I let go but this time was different. You see, I have let go before in different versions but held on so tightly that rather than just swaying away and watching as to how and where I lay, I end up falling down with a thud.  Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it scrapes, sometimes I just don't know how to rise back up.  Maybe because I wanted to control the direction of where I go, rather than see where it takes me.  But this time was different. I found myself moving and enjoyed floating around. I realized that I didn't worry about how or where I would eventually land up, but what I did instead was pay attention to what was around me. I noticed the colors, I noticed birds I had never seen, I even saw trees that I never thought existed. I saw the squirrels play with each other, I saw children running around in playgrounds. And I watched the people around me.  I felt their emotions - so many different emotions all in the same moment.  I was in the moment and allowed myself to feel. Feelings are important.  If we don't allow ourselves to feel, we get stuck and then we can't move onward. Before I knew it, I was down on the ground by a beautiful pond surrounded by daffodils and sunflowers and butterflies. I landed softly, and felt okay. I had learned to let go and fly. "

Journal Prompt:  Imagine yourself a leaf and let your breathe take you away. Once you are done, do a five minute writing exercise on you being the leaf that has fallen. Or write whatever comes to your mind.

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love Yourself First and Foremost!

"Focus on what you love doing, not what you fear the most."  Something I read today on using creativity and our imagination to do something that we truly want.  Simple statement yet so difficult to practice. How much of our thoughts are fear based rather than love based? Our thoughts dictate our reality. Our fears dictate our reality. So what we project is what we feel.  If we project fear onto ourselves imagine how our actions play out? Our sense of reality, our perception, our desires is fully based on this one feeling and emotion - which is fear.  What other emotions feed off fear?  Envy, Anger, greed, resentment , anxiety, and deep deep sadness-and the list goes on. Imagine our mind consumed with those feelings -subconsciously or consciously and what that does to the human body? We begin to manifest those symptoms in some way or the other and our body parts begin to break down. We have created our own deficiencies by sending those emotions to our entire body. We begin to feel depleted and need something to fill us up. And we turn towards addictions that begin to feed the void or feed the emptiness that we feel. Addictions can be of all kinds - some of them extreme, some of them manageable or in control. Something as simple as "i need chocolate right now" to going on a shopping escapade when we know that we may not need any of the things that we just bought. That void has to be filled in some way or the other because our negative feelings are depleting us. We need to find a way to fill it.  

But what if, just what if, we begin to make a conscious effort to shift our feelings from fear to love? Imagine being in love and what that does to you - that fluttering feeling, that happy warm fuzzy feeling, that feeling of just completeness, that feeling that all is enough and is well. Our feelings of love create our day to day reality. Love expands. Love does not shrink. The more we love, the more we want to love. Love is giving. We give of ourselves unconditionally without thinking what's in it for us. Imagine the things you love to do -and the feelings that come to your mind when you engage in those activities. How do you feel? Energized, strong, happy, that's because you engaged in something who's roots were based in love-the activity was a positive one and it sent positive feelings to your whole body. Observe it in your energy. Love is action, Fear is outcome. When we focus on an action because we love to do it, we don't think of the outcome as much because the energy is in the process. When we focus too much on the outcome of something and whether it will be right or wrong, whether it will be appreciated or not, whether it will be successful or not, we lose the fun of it, we become fear based and get stuck in the emotions of it all. That's what fear does to us.

As we approach a holiday revolving around love, I can't help but stress how we need to send loving energy to ourselves. We fear ourselves the most and in doing that we reject love, joy, success, positivism into our lives. Yes life is painful and yes we can be broken repeatedly by life's experiences, but those are circumstances that need to be felt through, that need to be worked through so that we can embrace what we deserve to have which is love. Numbing the emotions only cuts us off from love. We are love, we need to realize that. We need to be more loving of ourselves and less hard on ourselves. We need to stop expecting perfection from ourselves and learn to just love us how a child loves unconditionally.  Love ourselves first and foremost. It comes of as selfishness sometimes, but if we don't give it us, who will? So on this day, practice loving kindness to yourself. Everytime you find yourself being harsh, being critical, being resentful, take a deep breath and exhale. Everytime you find yourself lonely, deeply broken because of lost loved one, deeply sad take a deep breathe and exhale.  Every time you examine your life and you feel like you have not amounted to anything, your dreams are not coming to fruition, you have no idea where you are headed in life, and you are fearful of not being able to make ends meet, take a deep breath and exhale.  This may need to be done throughout the day because it is so deeply embedded in the core of who we are.

As you exhale, Create an affirmation that you can say to yourself that will center you.  Ask yourself what is it that you truly want? My answer to that is I want to stop wanting. I want to be at peace with whatever is and will be.  And once I have answered that question, I create an affirmation that will reflect my intention.   
Example: My affirmation is  "I am exactly where I need to be right now. Everything is in divine order." That's what I say to myself Every time I find myself going in a direction that is fear based. And it takes time, it takes practice and in time it becomes a core of you.  

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Journaling!