Balance for 2014

 

Balance

The theme for 2014 is Balance in all spheres.  Mind, Body, Spirit, Heart, Connection.  Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional, Social. Work, Play, Be, Rest, Relate.

And if one of them should drop, just pick it up and try again.

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Captured in a flash …. not really …

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‘A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something seen there will manifest itself to us.” – Henri Nouwen.

That basically captures the essence of me as I sat in the balcony: iPhone propped on my knees and trained on the horizon, snapping whenever I saw lightning, and basically hoping that I managed to capture something. Half-an-hour and lots of fake-out photos later, I managed to capture that photo.It certainly wouldn’t win any prizes – grainy as it is – but I felt proud that I managed to capture it. Why? maybe because I learnt that I could wait, I could cultivate patience, hope, and resilience. Or maybe, forget all those lofty virtues, because I know from experience that it is damn hard to capture something as fleeting as lightning, on an iPhone 4.

But in the end, even if there was nothing to show for my waiting, it would have been okay – because sometimes witnessing and experiencing is what matters more.

No words of my own

‘Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher a storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

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It’s amazing when someone from another time and space is able to capture and express what I feel but am not eloquent enough to say. In all my moments of speechlessness, it is the beauty of nature that takes the words away.

Who am I? The Riddle

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How do you see yourself? When others say things to you and about you, does that cause a distortion in your own image? (yes, I know – it’s a very cheap way of linking that to the photos above). How do you reconcile those two so that you are able to get the clarity of who you are? Many a time, we are all formed in a way by the opinions, thoughts and actions of those around us. That’s good in some ways, especially so when they are role models that inspire us. But what if they are not so inspiring, and their words and actions are driven by ‘baser’ motivations wrapped up in ‘nobility’ and topped off by ‘this will be for their own good’?

So I referred to my favourite saint, St Francis, and does he have some mega high standards!

“Holy Wisdom destroys Satan and all his subtlety; Holy Simplicity destroys all the wisdom of this world and all the wisdom of the body; Holy Poverty destroys the desire of riches and avarice and the cares of this world ….” and it gets harder from then on. What’s a lowly human supposed to do? – crawl up in a corner and eat chocolates?

But that would’ve just caused too much inflammation and allergies so I referred to one of my favourite songs, The Riddle by Five for Fighting. The title would already tell you that there wouldn’t be a straight up answer, but I love that song; “in the scheme of things we’re nothing at all … there’s a reason for the world, you and I.” It’s a conundrum – like “Remember you are unique, just like everyone else.”

In the end, for me, even though the words of St Francis are hard to live by, remembering it may help me live a little closer to my own integrity, and then maybe I will know the reason why I am in this world.

After a long break

It’s been a long break since my last entry. So many things have happened. I’ve moved to a new city, moved into a new apartment, started a new job. All within the span of a month. All the routines that I had in the last year have all been shot to pieces. I feel a little battered and there’s nothing like a picture to tell a thousand words.

But unlike the abandoned truck that will probably not have another opportunity to hit the roads and cruise, and enjoy the scenes and places out there, I know I will.

Has seen better days

Has seen better days

Defying Gravity

This is one of my favourite songs of all time from the musical Wicked – the plot and the music is something that touched my heart and listening to this song always inspires me to transcend the small and the narrow. And so this is my lowly tribute to it.

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Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It’s time to try defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I am defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down!

I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner be defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll try defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

Looking forward to 2013

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2012 has been a great year. I’ve learnt a lot, been taught a lot, had my path lighted and guided. That’s all in a nutshell. I’ve also picked up a new skill – drawing. And it’s unleashed – at times – some creative thoughts that I never thought I had. I look forward to more of what 2013 has to offer!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Good news

It’s coming to the year – and I wanted to end the year on the stories of bravery, inspiration, hope and goodwill. Stories that reminds us that there are good people in the world, and that everyone has it in them to do good, and to use our resources for the good of those who share the world with us.

Health news

When our talents and resources are used for the good of others.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jun/21/medical-research-health

http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/index.php/news/article/amputee_climbs_103_stories_using_mind-controlled_bionic_leg/

From the Ashes

It may destroy the physical, but not the spirit.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247883/The-house-Superstorm-Sandy-knock-down.html

Humanity

People who relight one’s faith in humanity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/larry-deprimo-nypd-cop-gives-homeless-boots_n_2209178.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/anonymous-%E2%80%98layaway-angels%E2%80%99-return-to-pay-off-strangers%E2%80%99-balances-174649270.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-white/acts-of-kindness_b_2345466.html?utm_hp_ref=good-news&ir=Good%20News

Against all Odds

We may not be born with everything we need, but we can overcome, as she shows us.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/aimee-mullins-double-amputee-model-athlete-inspiration/story?id=17851813#.UNf5xW-siSo

Harmony

We can bridge the differences if we see each other as humans, made to  live alongside each other.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/23/muslims-and-catholics-com_n_2349136.html?utm_hp_ref=good-news

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-marc-schneier/hanukkah-with-the-chief-rabbi-imams-and-barack-obama_b_2301841.html?utm_hp_ref=good-news&ir=Good%20News

Acceptance and Inclusion

Neurotypical folks taking the time and effort to understand people with disabilities.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/23/santa-claus-uses-sign-lan_n_2347084.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20596987

Bystander-positive actions

Kids leap to action to save the day.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Children-help-driver-pull-over-school-bus-in-Milton-146673005.html

Furry Friends

The dog that helps others, gets a little help himself. What goes around, comes around.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2246544/Pirelli-legged-spokesdog-disabilities-fitted-carbon-fiber-prosthetic-paw-inspired-Olympic-runner.html

Recognizing the right voice

There are well-meaning people everywhere. And at some point in your life, they will try to give you advice. From what job to go for, to where you should stay, to who you should be with, to what food you should consume. Everyone of us have known, and have, those people in our lives. It’s just human nature to voice an opinion, and maybe impose it – and they do it most of the time with the best of intentions ( I’d like to think :))

However if their intention is not your intention, then that’s where conflict comes in. Conflict with them and conflict within yourself, because you may start second-guessing yourself … ‘are they right?’, ‘maybe they know better than me’, ‘they are wiser than me’, etc, etc, etc. I have one word – STOP!

I have an inner voice  that I call The Lord/God/Jesus. You may have your own – Buddha, Allah, Vishnu, the Universe, the Source, your 6th sense, spirits. My inner voice has not always been so loud or clear, mainly because I had not practiced listening to it. It was usually just one way, with me doing most of the talking. However, recently, I decided to keep in touch with the Lord at least twice a day, and throughout the day when I can remember. When I feel that I have to set aside a lot of time solely to dedicate to an activity, it can get quite difficult to continue, especially something that I don’t particularly enjoy :P, but I know is good for me. But when I can incorporate little nuggets of these throughout my day, it is easier to carry out. And in the end, when I see the benefits of it – leading me to make better choices, to be reassured and comforted – it motivates me to continue it longer and more meaningfully. And sometimes, it’s just showing up. An analogy that I remember is like a man sitting in the sun – he’s not doing anything but in the end, you see a tan, and he has reaped the benefit of it (of course in these days of skin cancer, that may not be the best analogy ;)).

There are many voices in this world, all clamouring for your attention, and you need to make sure you are listening to the right one.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Food renews our strength, our bodies, our life. But it wasn’t just the food that energized and renewed me, but it was also a renewal of family ties, as I had this meal with my sister’s family which I hadn’t seen in 3 years, across many thousands miles.

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