Apr 142016
 

Well, you might think that now the wedding is finished and married life has begun life would be settling down for me. Not quite yet….

Since I decided to quit working full-time at the ZOO, we now need to work on moving to a new apartment as our current place is part of my work package. There are a number of places to live in the city, but we are a little particular about our needs for space. Also, we want to fully enjoy the remaining years that we plan to be here.

Before, we thought we would move out to the suburban life, but M changed companies and his new office is downtown near Emirates Palace. Therefore, it’ll be better for us to live closer to the Corniche as I won’t have a commute to deal with.

So, we have about 95% decided to move to the Sofitel residences downtown.

IMG_9902

The space is beautiful and the amenities are what seals the deal. The main thing is that the space will be ideal for my new business and be a comfortable space for me to enjoy never leaving each day! Ha! It’s an introverts perfect space!

If I do want to go out, the corniche is fairly easy to get to and I can perhaps consider returning to running outside (when the weather is good again!). So, while I will give up my perfect dream of living with a Starbucks downstairs, there will be other perks to replace it. 😀

In any case, life is not yet settling down – not sure if it ever will – but life is definitely beyond GOOD!

-T 😀

 

 Posted by at 10:58
Apr 042016
 

I grew up in a world where people were taught to say “Please” and “Thank you”. It was a world where you RSVP’d on time and followed through on your word. If you said you were going to do something, you just did it – no matter the difficulties or challenges that arose; because it was your word that meant everything.

Nowadays, people use words casually without thought to their meaning or consideration for the expectations that they bring when used as promises.

Last week I got married (photos and posts to come soon). Invites went out with plenty of time to RSVP. The RSVP date came and went, but still people had to be chased down to get a response from them as for their attendance. There are a few problems with this coming from the world I grew up in:

*It’s simply disrespectful to ignore an invite to a wedding. The fact that you have been invited to attend an event where two people share their love and publicly promise to commit their lives together should mean something still and your request to be a part of that should feel like an honor – not a right, not a passing event to ignore. To not bother to RSVP on time or at all is disrespectful to a deeply meaningful request even if it means nothing to you personally.

*It’s selfish to not RSVP at all or to ask for a plus one to attend if that plus one was not invited. In both cases, you are not considering that a lot of planning and money go into the invitations and organizing of the special occasion. Weddings are free for you to attend, but in most cases, they are not free to the couple getting married (or perhaps their parents). A lack of response or a request to add one more to the numbers is only a consideration for yourself. A “Sorry I can’t make it” goes much further and shows respect and consideration over a no-response. A “Thank you for your invite” is enough to show your appreciation for the invite to someone’s wedding. Asking to bring someone whom the couple did not initially invite is a bit presumptuous that they would be willing to pay a great deal of money for you to bring someone for your own convenience and preference.

Then, even when all the responses came in there were still some people who were shocking in their lack of courtesy by not showing up to the event at all either without an excuse or a selfish one.

*Forgetting the date is flat out irresponsible and shows a complete lack of care for the wedding couple.

*Choosing not to go out because you were embarrassed at an event the night before is completely self-centered.

*Just not showing at all with absolutely no reason is rude.

We had a number of people tell us ahead of time that they couldn’t make it, but it was done politely and with enough notice that numbers could be changed. Just remember that a wedding entails planning for table seatings, meal plans, ceremony chairs, drinks, nameplates, gifts and so on. It’s not simply saying “Sorry I can’t make it” and then all is good. For you, there’s nothing more, but for the wedding planning it means more emails, more rearranging, financial adjustments, etc.

By not showing up at all, you leave empty seats, paid-for-food and drink left uneaten and drunk, gifts left behind and wasted, and an overall sense of incompleteness because your presence was desired and expected.

Remember that the world does not revolve around you alone and your decisions do not affect only you or those immediately around you. Everyone and everything is interconnected; thus, our actions and words have everlasting effects whether seen or not.

Please just have some common courtesy for others and use your words meaningfully especially when making promises to others.

~T:D

Mar 252016
 

Spring has already come and the weather in the UAE is somewhat out of character lately. Seven years ago when I first arrived, there was similar weather of rain storms, flooding and cancelled classes. This year, hurricane-like weather passed through – they didn’t call it as such but what else do you call 130kph winds? – causing rain storms, flooding, closed schools and things falling to pieces?

Due to such weather on the weekend of a major conference in our profession, it was difficult to determine if professionalism would outweigh potential further weather conditions. However, enough time in the country provides experiential understanding that nothing stays the same here – from policies, construction, road names, and even the weather. For most people, the professional attitude of attending an event that our work pays for and knowing that others were depending on them caused them to overcome their fear and get out to face the effects of the tumultuous storm.

Just as the seasons can change quickly here so can the hearts of people.

It is true that in recent years I have realized more and more that I do not really understand the modern mind. The world of social media has caused social graces that I grew up believing were the norm to be thrown aside as if I am actually a hundred years older than I am. Despite this, I have maintained my strong belief in the potential of humans to be even better than they are in terms of integrity, honesty and standing firm in the people they are meant to be within our greater society. Admittedly, this leads to disappointment on my side, of my own making, as many times people are capable of equally great acts of dishonor, lies and masks to hide their truths.

For some time, I have wondered how some might respond to a test of character. Generally, I try to focus on the lamb in people and hope that gentle responses leading to positive resolutions are possible. However, when character is tested, the lions within can rear up leading to negative results. Just as a storm passes through causing irreparable damage in some areas, it can also be seen as a chance to renew, re-evaluate and grow above and beyond what was thought possible before the damage occurred. The roar of a lion may be something to be fear for some, but to me, it’s an opportunity to make room for more peaceful and positive hearts and minds.

~T 😀

 Posted by at 19:44
Mar 162016
 

Nearly five and a half months without posting and so much has happened in that time. I actually started writing this post when the new year hit – as would be expected, but then life got in the way.

There’s nothing like a bit of an emotional jolt, results of meditation and life changes to reset the niggling that one should be writing again for some unknown audience out there (though I know a few of you 😉 ).

Thus, while I have been keeping my paper journal up to date, I will begin making more attempts to post here again as I’ve let a couple of the other blogs go while I refocus, recenter and restart.

Stay tuned for more to come along!

~T 😀

 Posted by at 12:32
Nov 072015
 
It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to sit in front of my computer and do some work on it for personal reasons. Part of the reason is that I have actually been very busy with life and enjoying new adventures and paths that are in front of me. Part of the reason is that I have no interest in coming home to sit in front of my computer when I can be out enjoying the wonderfully ‘cool’ weather we are now having in the desert. Part of the reason is also that I’m focusing on what is more important these days….This video (linked and noted below) is a lovely reminder to take the time to enjoy the moment right now. 😀

#LetGoAre you always busy being ‘busy’? This is a good one to share with those who are always rushed off their feet…Brilliant video from The Sanctuary Spa, Covent Garden (Official).

Posted by Mrs Mindfulness on Saturday, October 31, 2015

Until next time,

 Posted by at 09:19
Oct 132015
 

These past almost two weeks have really given me a sense of peace and calm. I have also discovered a new direction for my life as long as I keep working my energies towards that path.

One thing that has really come out of this mindfulness training is the discovery of other people who believe in the power of humans. I’ve never been able to buy into a religion and have always just tried to explain myself as ‘spiritual’, but as Sam Harris’s talk points out, it’s a lame statement.

The truth is that I am a humanist. I believe in the power of human beings and that we are amazing beings on this earth, but do not live up to our greatest potential as a whole nor as individuals. The greatest realization of mindfulness has been the spreading and believing in compassion and love starting within the self and then passing it on to others. With love and compassion, we can achieve just about anything we set our minds to on this earth.

Now, there is a lot of talk of Buddhism and even some sprinkles of Christianity or Islam, but for me none of these connections are important. Rather, I want to focus in on what can we learn about human potential and how can we develop our individual potential in order to contribute to the development of potential as a society on a local, national and global scale?

So, as I delve into these thoughts, my new path reveals itself more clearly! It’s all very exciting!!! 😀

-T

Oct 062015
 

So, I’m six days in to the Mindfulness Summit and I’m totally hooked!

Ages ago a friend or friends talked to me about my thoughts on meditation and yoga. I thought I wasn’t into it and although I have a belief in a higher being, I wasn’t really going to embrace a new-agey kind of trend.

Now…I’m a yoga lover and am becoming a HUGE fan of mindfulness. It’s working already to keep me calm and focused.

For example, I had a bit of a problem with my power and paying the bill – without too much detail of the frustration, I managed to sit and listen to the day’s interview after everything had been taken care of. Instead of feeling stressed and frustrated I found myself calm and actually smiling/laughing about the whole situation. Some might call it maturity or acceptance for where I live, but without having the moment to breath and let it all go, I would definitely have had a good long rant to my friend when we met up! 😀

So, I really recommend this. It has also propelled me down a new path of exciting possibilities – on which I will elaborate in a future post.

Until next time,

-T

Oct 012015
 

ms1215

My friend, T posted this on her FB page as an event she was planning on attending. I had seen it before on another friend’s post, but had only glanced at it then. So, this time I took a closer look at it.

In the past, people have suggested the idea of meditation and tried to explain what it is; however, I have generally chalked it up to a Buddhist idea or some exotic activity that those who wander into a ‘hippy-like’ spiritual journey undertake. Of course, I thought this about yoga as well – until I tried it. Calling this ‘mindfulness’ seemed to work better to pique my interest.

So, I decided to take the challenge. It’s 31 days – how can it hurt? Becoming more aware of my mind is a path I have undertaken since I first admitted to having bipolar tendencies. Since doing so, I have gotten a much better handle on how my mind works and what I need to do to ensure a stable mindset. Therefore, learning mindfulness or meditation is just another way of helping me along this path – I think. 😉

At the end of every yoga session, we generally take a few moments to focus on our breath and to bring focus to our bodies. This isn’t a traumatizing or funky spiritual activity, but it has calmed me and brought me “zen”. Therefore, I’m really looking forward to doing 31 days of training on this for a regular part of my day. Some might consider prayer time the same – for I used to commune with God regularly each night when I was more of a church-going spiritual person. Now, I’m more of a yoga and ‘humanist’ spiritual person and looking into mindfulness for communing. 😀

Today was the first day and I gotta say…NICE!

-T 😀

Sep 302015
 

Yikes! I started this post almost a year ago and didn’t realize that I never really finished it. When I was reading my friend’s blog the other day, it made me wonder if I had ever written about my brief version or not…. Apparently ‘not’ is the answer. So, here it is:

goldfinch

Back in my brief stint of writing briefs of books, I was given the ask of writing _The Goldfinch_ by Donna Tartt. I had not heard of her before this, for good reason. Tartt only wrote two other novels. She’s won awards for two of them including this latest.

It was a daunting task to write a brief of this novel, since it is what I consider a modern-day classic written with such talent that there was no way that I could do it justice even if I had more than 1/3 of the novel to reproduce.

Tartt’s writing took me back to what I’ve enjoyed in the Russian authors of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Although there is a lot of detail in the novel, it all comes together for purpose the more you work your way through the tale. The words are put together beautifully and the story unfolds in such a way that one is dazed and confused, but in a surreal satisfactory way.

Of course, it’s not for everyone, and even the brief may be too much to read,         goldfinchbrief  but I’m glad that I did read it and do recommend it as something more challenging to read than a James Patterson novel. 😀

Sep 282015
 

I was writing in my journal today, which I must say I have been fairly diligent with suggesting that perhaps the ol’ pen and paper might not be dead yet, and happened to read back over the last 18 months.

It’s almost hard to remember what my life was like just a year and a half ago. I was in a different and unhappy relationship. I was working on a PhD that I was trying so hard to convince myself was worth finishing. I had nearly completed my coaching course. I had only begun to work fully in the CEI and my writing was sporadic at best.

Now, it’s a different story. My relationship is going strong and happily. I have given up the PhD in pursuit of other interests. I’m back teaching and realizing that I’m ready to take another path forward – CEI or not. My writing is becoming more consistent on paper, if not virtually – though this may start to change as I regain my motivation and focus…(don’t I always hope for this?!).

So, it’s nice to pause and take a moment to reflect on how different life was just a short time ago. It doesn’t have to happen just at the new year…! 😀

All is well and more will be coming…I think!

-T 😀

 Posted by at 18:02