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happy 2013!

i came across this project online that i absolutely loved and thought i’d share, and with it i attach this wish for your new year:

may your 2013 be wonderful and fulfilling!

love, love, m, 2013 (i love the sound of this year already!)

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The Answers We Already Have

Two Stories

Story 1: The other day, I went into a hardware store to get a new battery for my guitar tuner. (The other battery had worked for almost 7 years?! Fascinating!) At the counter, I asked the dude to show me the various types that they had. He pulls out only two options with a cost difference of about 200 shillings. I’ve always preferred one of the brands but nonetheless I have this conversation with the sales guy…

“Hmm… which of the two is more long lasting?”

“Eh… both are quite good actually”

“But isn’t brand X the better one?” (the one that i like and that is more costly than the other)

“Yes”, he says kinda hesitantly. “Mmm…. It is the better one”.

I buy the brand that I prefer.

———————————————————————

Story 2:I took my sister shopping the other day and she was trying out some of the clothes, which is how I ended up hanging out in the hallway of dressing rooms. Out of one of them steps a young lady who asks me, “Do you think this dress is as cute as I think it is?”

I am caught by surprise and because I am being diplomatic, I respond, “Hmm… It’s hard for me to say because you’re wearing something else inside” (It’s true, she had a shirt or something underneath but also, I just didn’t sense that it was a good dress choice).

“I really like it”, she continues. “Especially this little bow and the shine…”

“Yes, I like that it has a bit of a shimmer-shine”, I agree.

She then pulls out the other ones that she had been trying on… I see one that looks really cool and potentially, much better.

“How about that one?” I point at it. “That one has potential…”

“Hmm… no. I didn’t like that one. I love this one”, she points to the one she has on.

That’s when I realise, she really didn’t want or need my opinion. She had made a choice already even before she spoke to me!

———————————————————————

Just like me, when buying the battery, and now like my lady-friend-shopper… we both knew exactly what we wanted long before we sought a second opinion.

And beloved, so do you!

Love, love, m

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I’m currently taking a course and in the last class, the coach asked that we refrain from reading any books besides the course texts for the 3 month duration of the course. I was completely floored by that request because I’m an avid reader; books are my thing; I read constantly; I love books; call me “Reader”! So you can imagine my resistance to this suggestion.

“This is sacrifice!” I said to her dazed. She reminded me that I didn’t have to do what she suggested but she is making the recommendation that if I do, I will be surprised by the “result”. The coach’s premise was that we often allow too many voices to speak into our lives when we actually would be better off listening deeply to ourselves and to God. This got me really thinking and wondering: how many people am I allowing to speak into my life every day, in the form of books, movies, programmes, friends and strangers?

What I have learnt this year is that indeed, I do have the wisdom to do my life and do it well. We are all equipped with the internal resources to live our best lives. To tap into what is readily available inside us though, we do have to take the time to be still and listen. For many of us, it’s a process of re-discovery; re-discovering that we are wise and whole and able. Doesn’t mean that there is no place for welcoming other people to speak into our lives. There is. We are wired and made for community; it is part of our human experience. What is called for though is a sense of discernment – choosing which voices to welcome and even then, being able to be still and weigh what is shared against our own internal wisdom and knowing.

So I am going to try my coach’s suggestion and “fast” from the constant companionship of books and see what happens. Already I am grateful for the prompting to begin questioning the influence of others in my life. I look forward to see what happens with more listening; less outside voices.

What about you beloveds? How many voices are you allowing to speak into your life? Could you use more internal listening and trusting yourself and your God? As the weekend begins, I wish you moments of stillness and the growing confidence that they bring, that you have all that you need to build your best, deepest, fullest life.

Happy weekend. Love, love, m

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part 1:

the day danielle laporte announced that she was working on a book, i started waiting for it.

part 2:

it finally became available in bookstores all over America.

part 3:

my sister, the new yorker, is heading home for a visit a couple months after the launch of the book.  she asks” anything you want from this end?” my list is two things: one is danielle laporte’s book; the other is the backyardigans, a cartoon that my daughter absolutely loves but is unavailable here.

part 4:

she lands; she apologises. “so sorry, i didn’t bring your book”.

part 5:

deflated.

part 6:

my life is going on. occasionally i stop and wonder how i’ll get the fire starter sessions.

and then…

my pal; accountability buddy; friend mentions, “my brother is coming home from the U.S”. “cool.” I say “have a wonderful visit with him.”

brother arrives and as we’re catching up on phone, she says.. “oh and guess what book i have? yeah.. i asked him to bring it and he did”. The Fire Starter Sessions which we have both been craving is here!

fast forward to tonight and the book is sitting by my bedside as i close it and turn in to sleep. i am loving every page and what perfect, perfect timing to arrive to me! it feels kinda unreal that finally, it is here – by my bedside. long time coming yet here it is.

best part beloveds:

The things and people you deeply desire are making their way to you… sometimes in a long, circuitous route and one day, you will find them, resting gentle; real; easy, by your bedside.

amen.

love, love, m

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this friday, i am loving those who stand up for others as demonstrated this week by jodie foster in the kristen stewart situation. kristen stewart has recently been even more in the news, but this time, not for her acting career but for her getting caught in an affair with one of the directors of the latest film in which she is starring. there have been a lot of negative articles and comments about this especially since the director is married and much older plus the fact that she is one part of an adored holywood couple with her boyfriend.

because of all the negative press and attention, jodie foster who has worked with her, this week wrote an article in the huffington post speaking up for kristen, asking that the media stop the negative reporting and essentially leave her alone. i applaud her for this because in a world that is so quick to judge and point fingers and insult, we all need that one person who will stand up for us. kinda links back to the issue of “covering each others’ nakedness with love“. i am loving that she chose to take this stand.

along the same lines, this week, i’m also loving kindnessgirl.com – a site that encourages random acts of kindness. we could all do with more kindness, no?

finally, couldn’t the world use more love letters? moreloveletters.com

as the long weekend begins, may you receive and give kindness and love!

kristen in balenciaga ad

love, love, m

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I was having trouble watching videos on my computer the other day so I asked the techie guy to check what the problem was. I left him working on it and went to catch up with some artists. On return, he informs me that the problem is solved.  As I quickly log on to make sure all is working well, that’s when I notice that all my bookmarks have been deleted. All of them!

Now beloveds, let me explain. I have repeatedly said how much I love the World Wide Web and the plenty of fantastic information and access that it gives me to so much interesting stuff on art and creativity and spirituality and beautiful design and other good stuff. Whenever I’d come across a great site , I would bookmark it. I had bookmarks, saved over 2 years or so, put in different categories from “inspiration” to “blogs i heart” to “magazines” to “pending checks”. I saw my bookmark space as a place where I could go for inspiration and research whenever I needed. And just like that, I lost years of great content.

Here’s what I quickly realised in that moment – after the initial shock – I could look at it as a complete loss or I could look at it as a complete beginning; the presentation of a new clean slate from which to build new stuff. I have chosen the latter. I will find new interesting spaces; new bookmark-able  sites; new things to inspire and connect to – not the tried and true that I had saved up over the years. That’s what I am believing. So here’s to embracing new beginnings!

Have a wonderful week with plenty of new enriching possibilities.

Love, love, m

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nadav kander for more magazine

Hanging out with a really cool group of people sometime back, the conversation turned towards a person whom we all know but who currently wasn’t at that meeting. As the conversation went on,  details were divulged about the kinds of relationships the person seems to attract – getting into very drama-filled partnering. It seemed everyone had some story that illuminated just how much drama this person has in their life. Gossip is juicy; stories about drama are so intriguing (soap opera appeal ?); and so I kept listening and we’d laugh and be shocked and another tale to illustrate would come up. And on  it went.

At some point, I stopped and thought about myself and about the person that we were speaking about and wondered, “what exactly drives a person to behave in such a dramatic way, where they are even willing to embarrass themselves in front of others with no care?” “What drives a person to that point of rage?” And “can i get there?”  At that point, rather theoretically, I may have said something about, “oh, shit happens” to diffuse the stories or tried to stand up a bit in defence of the person but not quite. And so the stories kept flowing and I had my share of laughs and shocked expressions.

A few days later I did something that was dramatic in a particular relationship and ended up being quite embarrassed by my behaviour. With my own unique twist, I acted exactly like the dramatic person that had been the content of the storytelling days before!

All this reminded me of one of the tenants of a class that I am taking where we are invited to always “clothe each other’s nakedness with love”. I love that statement so much. It is a reminder and an appeal that when shit hits the fan for someone, rather than gossiping and pointing fingers, we are to instead choose to clothe that person’s nakedness. The truth is that when we “do drama”, we are actually exposing ourselves quite completely. We may think that we aren’t showing anything and are masking it all so well by the outward dramatic-ness, but anyone with wisdom looking at us knows that we are exposing our own vulnerability; our own fears; our deepest hurts that we don’t know how to express or deal with in healthy ways. (Please note: Drama is never healthy. It is an unhealthy mode of operation – designed to protect us from dealing with our own issues and pain.)

Looking back on this sequence of events has left me so much more aware of how easy it is to take the judgemental road rather than the one of compassion, forgiveness and grace. Because, God knows and I know so well that being human, we fail more often than we plan to and are ever in need of grace and forgiveness. As the week continues, I pray for compassion and an increased heart to always choose to “clothe others nakedness with love” because soon, as proven, I will need that very same grace.

Love, love, m

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