Jun 282016
 

Day 3: ย What color are you grateful for?

Well, the obvious answer should be purple as this is my favorite color. However, my first response to this was actually red. Now, in a way this makes sense. Without red, there is no purple. Red symbolizes blood, fire, passion and to me vibrancy. So, I suppose this is an apt color for me to be grateful for. ๐Ÿ˜›

—–

The other day I was visiting with a friend who was asking me how I have been spending my days. I explained that I keep busy, but overall I am a little bit ‘bored’. She asked me what about all my writing and website projects. I answered that I am trying to do that – get into a routine, think about what I would like to write -, but ultimately I feel less inspired as I cannot go to a cafรฉ to write due to Ramadan and I am not in my own space. She responded that these sounded just like excuses for not getting things done….

Is it…?

Upon some thinking, I think there is truth behind the excuses and there is truth behind the fact they are just excuses. It is true that inspiration needs to come from energy flows of space, which I get in cafรฉs and will in my new home (as it is my space). However, we are not all always so lucky to have the fortune to pick and choose where we can do our life crafts, so if one wants to really accomplish something, then it should not matter where or how. Just do it, right?

So, I am working on being a bit more disciplined. Seeing the calendar fill up this month with my blog posts definitely helps. Yesterday, I sat down to write and got some starts, though nothing really stuck. However, I shall keep trying. Some more ideas are flowing and so one of them should stick eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also made lists for the other website project that I keep pushing to the back burner. Thus, I indeed have plenty to do and keep me busy, just gotta put my head into it and make it happen!!!

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 272016
 
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05-May-2016 22:02, Apple iPhone 6s Plus, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.03 sec, ISO 40
 

Wow, I have reached a milestone in life – the 40th birthday. In Korea, I guess I’m really 41, but let’s not go there…. ๐Ÿ˜› I have always said that I will remain 28 forever as I remember that as the best year of my life so far. However, I have to say that 39 was a pretty good year. Who knew that I would make it this far?! I was always convinced I would die at 25 – don’t ask why.

Since my birthday is always when people are away traveling, I decided to celebrate my birthday as an “Almost 40 Party” on Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) this year. I try to play it be ear each year depending on when the summer holidays start. Iย had a lovely time eating, drinking and having a ballย together with my friends here in the desert.

They say that 40 is the new 30, but truthfully age does not mean that much to me. Life continues to be amazing and I think my life has gotten better and better. I always knew that growing up would be so much better than being a kid! ๐Ÿ˜›

So, I have no words of wisdom or comments to reflect upon regarding my age. Instead, I am just grateful and happy for the life that I have. I look forward to whatever the next year(s) bring! ๐Ÿ˜€

—-

Day#2: ย What technology are you grateful for?

This is a tough one as I do love my technology – all of it! If I have to choose one, though, I guess I am most grateful for the smartphone. My life is pretty much on my iPhone. Of course, without Internet or cellular technologies the smartphone is useless; therefore, obviously, I am including these as part of the smartphone technology gratitude! On my phone, I can make calls (though this is rare as voice communication is used by myself more out of forced purposes than preferred), I can Skype with my family and friends, I can email, I can check FB, I can play games, I can do EVERYTHING! And, I do – LITERALLY! Sometimes, I even watch TV on it. So…yes, I am most grateful for smartphones! ๐Ÿ˜€

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 262016
 

gc

Remember how I said I wanted to revisit gratitude in my life to let go of focusing on stress? Well, this pin popped up on my Pinterest feed the other day as a bit of a sign to really take that on. So, today will be Day #1 of the challenge. I will put in my posts each day a paragraph addressing the challenge for the day. ๐Ÿ˜€

Let’s begin: ย What smell are you grateful for today?

As someone who is quite sensitive to odors, this is an interesting question and not one that I often think about being grateful for as the only times I tend to notice smells is when it irritates me, not pleases. M frequently tells me how human nature tends to remember the negative things in life, like when someone forgets to do something for us rather than the positives, like when someone remembers to do something for us. While I try hard not to be this way, I know that I can have this tendency as well. Smells are a perfect example of this.

Back to the question at hand. I am grateful for the smell of coffee. Coffee brings me joy and the smell of it makes me smile. While I used to be truly addicted to the caffeine of coffee, I have managed to decrease my intake to one ‘large’ย Nespresso brand cup a day. This is more than enough to satisfy. I know that I am not addicted because if I miss a day I do not get headaches or shakes like I used to. Some might ask why I do not just give it up altogether since it could be argued that this regular caffeine shot is not necessarily good for me. While scientific studies go back and forth on the benefits of caffeine and coffee, I continue because I love the smell of a fresh hot cup of coffee.

When I want to sit down and write or relax, I like to have a warm cup of coffee in my hands and the aroma wafting in the air to ignite my creative juices or settle me into a moment. ๐Ÿ˜€

So, there you go. Today’s gratitude is for the smell of coffee! Feel free to join me in this challenge, by posting your own or sharing in the comments of my posts.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 252016
 

tma

_The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius_ by Marcus Aurelius

Over three years ago I referred to my having read _Meditations_ by Marcus Aurelius many years back. When I came across this book a few years ago, I thought I would give it a read since I enjoyed his first philosophies so much. However, it really took me more than a year to complete this one.

I am not sure why it took me so long as his Stoic philosophies were not much different and his wisdoms are still wise. Probably, it is a reflection on my state of mind more than anything else. When I readย Meditations, I needed to anchor myself into a way of thinking to stay sane. Now that I have found the art of meditation and yoga, I am less absorbent of these wise words. I should not be so, but I think perhaps this is why it took me so long to complete it.

When I did sit down to push through the last few chapters, I wondered why I had not been reading it…. So, yes, state of mind is important to consider when taking on classical philosophies. He was indeed an amazing man and he might go on my list of people I would like to meet someday in the after life. ๐Ÿ™‚

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 242016
 

tgt

_The Girl on the Train_ by Paula Hawkins

This was listed as one of the books to read before the movie came out, so I decided to give it a go despite its popularity and my tendencies to avoid ‘trends’. I know, I am ridiculous about ‘trends’ as there really is no harm and if something is actually good, what is the big deal…? ANYWAY, this was a GREAT book.

Although I kept thinking of _Gone Girl_ when I reading it and it has a very British feel to it, I still enjoyed it. As the story progressed, I was thinking, oh I know who it is or maybe it is this person…by the end I was both surprised and relieved. It also took me quite a few chapters to get to the point where I did not want to put the book down until I finished. However, once I got there, I was thoroughly engaged.

So, for a good summer read or just pass the time with a good thriller book, this will do. Now, I am looking forward to the movie since they did such a good job with GG as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 232016
 

So, I have been a bit stressed lately. Not sure if it comes out much in my writing here as I try not to divulge too much personal details of my life on a public forum – some might say I already share too much. However, despite it being summer holidays or my ‘retirement’ aka ‘transition period’, I have NOT been relaxing and enjoying the days very much. It is hard to transition multiple things all at once (job, home, marriage, etc.). ๐Ÿ™

While I know that I am very blessed and have so much to be thankful for, I have lately found myself on the darker side of things. Instead of finding joy in the down time I have right now, I feel tense and frustration. Therefore, to give myself an energetic and spiritual kick in the arse, I am revisiting the challenge of Gratitudes. I did this about two years ago in August (do a search for ‘gratitude’ on the main page of the blog and you’ll see the posts), and I think it is time to do it again. Feel free to join me in your own way in finding a minimum of three things to be grateful for each day.

  1. I am grateful for our friends who have provided us with a free place to stay for the past month until our new home is ready.
  2. I am grateful for my husband who makes me smile and laugh every day despite our mini quarrels and snappish attitudes with each other due to our stress and temporary living situation.
  3. I am grateful for the Internet to allow me to Skype with my parents, chat regularly with my BFF from afar, write on this blog, look up random information, and help me pass the time when I need a distraction.

The other night when I had had “the worst day of my life” I struggled to fall asleep after having a little self-pity cry session. However, when I forced my mind to focus on at least three good things that had happened that day, I relaxed and fell asleep very quickly. Bringing in the light and joy to life actually makes everything seem okay and not so unbearable. Thus, I want to keep myself centered on gratitudes as each day gets better and better. Besides, there really is so much to be grateful for in my amazing life! <3

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 222016
 

Remember a few days ago I wrote about the Gong Bath Meditation? Well, in my meditation I had some visions that we focused on feeling the manifestations of their truths in our physical bodies. Since then, I have had a hard time meditating for more than 15 minutes at a time as I keep going back to trying to understand what my visions were. It is a little bit like trying to interpret dreams. So, I am going to write in hopes of perhaps coming to some understanding or some reader out there might have an idea…?

In part of the meditation, we were asked to see ourselves in the future. Well, I saw three versions of myself. It was like three faces on one head of my body. None were dominant, but all three faces were moving at the same time in one body.

Furthermore, I saw myself in the future as a published author touring around the world about my books. Yes, not just a book, but bookS! I was meeting people, inspiring people and sharing my stories of life. Any introversion that I may have felt was washed away in warmth of knowing and seeing that I was having a massive impact on others.

The latter of these two visions I can wrap my head around. The former…, well, I am still working on that.

Of course, it is easy to now say I should be writing. I just need to sit down and write – how hard can it be? Well…it is a lot harder than it seems.

First, I have not written properly in a very long time – years now. I have stories in my head, loads of ideas on topics and themes, but each time I sit to write, I lose my voice. Now, if I were giving an oral speech and I lost my voice, I would be not-so-secretly relieved. ๐Ÿ˜› However, losing my voice in writing is not exactly ideal. Instead, I sit to write, I look at a blank screen or the few sentences and then…I go blank. Some call this writer’s block. I am readingย _The Artist’s Way_ to help me with this, but still I am not finding my voice. One reason I have been trying hard to go this whole month with writing each day is to build up a routine and practice of writing at least something somewhere. However, I have a business website to build as well and yet, nothing is coming to me. I am searching for my voice…. ๐Ÿ™

It does not help that it is Ramadan here and I cannot sit myself at a cafรฉ all day sipping coffee or tea, people watching whilst intermittently immersing myself into a world of words. However, that might just be an excuse. Surely, I should be able to delve into the many voices in my head and capture just one long enough to write…. <sigh>

So, for now I find contentment in my blogging here. Random thoughts flow out to my fingertips and I am maintaining my journal daily. However, if anyone out there happens to find my voice, would you be so kind as to let me know? I would really appreciate it. In the meantime, I will keep searching…. ๐Ÿ˜›

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 212016
 

The sayings go: ย “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” or “Patience is a virtue.” I never really liked these phrases to be honest. ๐Ÿ˜› They just felt like statements to appease one going through a tough time.

Yesterday was a trying day to say the least. Hours of my day were wasted waiting…. One thing after another continued to go wrong. I was ever so dramatic as to say “This is the worst day of my life!” (I guess I am doing alright if this is true…!) ๐Ÿ˜

Most people would probably not describe me as the most patient person in the world. The idea of wasting time is a trigger point for me. I am not quite sure where it stems from, but it definitely winds me up and brings out the ugly in me. Part of it is a sense of having my freedom taken away from me, which is one of my greatest values. When I have to wait around for money to transfer, for someone to answer a question, for a store to open, etc. I am usually quick to complain. This is absolutely my selfish nature – don’t people know about MY time???

Furthermore, most people who know me know that strength is definitely something I have due to my life circumstances. Therefore, I no longer feel as if I need more…. Again, my own selfish nature coming out here. Now, this is not to say that I cannot or will not learn from my continued life experiences. It does say that my patience for needing to learn more wears thin on me…. For if I let my mind go to the dark corners, the questions that arise are “Haven’t I had enough trying times in my life?” or “When is enough enough?”

Ultimately, it is true. I did not die from yesterday’s trials. I probably got some strength in the form of patience. I still am not sure that it is a virtue of any kind to be patient, but I am open to the fact that everything does generally work out for a reason. So, I am trying to see the good in my five plus hours of wasted time when I could have been reading a good book sitting by the pool…. It just might take me a while to see it…. ๐Ÿ˜›

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

 Posted by at 09:36
Jun 202016
 

Today’s world allows us to be “connected” at all times. Yet, what is it that we are connected to?

We have the ability to message friends and loved ones around the world 24/7 and yet communication is still difficult for many of us.

To me, it does not matter how much technology we have or instant methods of communicating, if we do not actually communicate none of it really matters.

It seems that despite all our ways to ‘connect’ with one another, people are so over-saturated that when true, deep and meaningful connections are attempted to be made through open communication, it is received with so much more impact than when we merely had telephones and letters.

I recently lost a friendship because I was too honest and too open. Of course, I have already written about the form of communication not being desired; thus, exacerbating the problem. However, the truth is that being open about how I felt was what was really not desired. People no longer want to hear truths if they are negative. We only want to hear the happy stories, the feel-good stories, the ones that always have a “happily ever after” ending.

Because there is so much negativity in our virtual lives, we do not know how to handle it in our real lives. We no longer possess the skills to communicate openly with one another so that problems can be worked through and growth can be allowed on both sides. It has somehow become too scary or too overwhelming to be allowed to express ourselves in any form other than “see how amazing my life is” or “look at how happy I am”.

If we were all actually so amazing and happy, then why do we fight and often feel alone in the world? Perhaps it is time to disconnect a bit more often and learn how to openly communicate to those who are actually around us in our lives….

~T ๐Ÿ˜€

Jun 192016
 

zealot

_Zealot: ย The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth_ by Reza Aslan

The author of this book appeared onย The Daily Show about a year ago. As a student of religion and spirituality I was really interested in reading this despite its seemingly ‘academic’ nature for a pleasure book. ๐Ÿ˜› (When has that stopped me before, right?)

Aslan writes about Jesus’ life, not as the Messiah, but as a man during the period in which he lived. Jesus is presented as a zealot who was then held up as the son of God by his followers.

This is really an interesting text considering the historical context, the Gospels which are accounts of Jesus’ followers, and the man himself according to others’ accounts. From a non-Christianity perspective, it is very informative and interesting to consider Jesus as a man rather than as the son of God. It is curious then to consider at what point and why it was then put into the New Testament that one must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to call oneself a Christian. Could it just be like any other religion adding on rules to join the “club”?

I think that this has continued to convince me that one particular religion cannot be THE religion and that we must focus on spirituality and foster love and compassion for others as fellow human beings. <3

Definitely a good read if you are into these kinds of things.

~T ๐Ÿ˜€