Posted in Concepts, Dreams, Quotes

10 of My Favorite Feelings

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

Helen Keller

I love that when I come back to WordPress after my journey in the world, I feel enveloped by the comfort of the community. Chocoviv invited me to this fun tag, and I can’t help but join her! You’re welcome to join!

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

IBM World Community Grid

Hello everyone, hope you are well today! Inspired by a post I read on Tony Burgess’s post, “The Thing About: The Virus“, I thought about various efforts to help find a cure and treatment for COVID-19.

IBM’s World Community Grid allows anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet to donate their unused processing power to advance scientific research on various topics ranging from health, poverty and sustainability. I’ve been a member for several years. It’s neat when I take a step away to eat lunch or a jog, my computer is playing a part in helping perform calculations for AIDS research.

You can learn more about their current projects here: Active Research
You can learn more about their program here: About

Posted in Concepts, fiction, Nature, Photography

#A2Z – Director’s Dilemma of Dogme 95 (fiction)

“CUT!!!” Director Cavanaugh acerbic voice sliced through the air.

Buzzing with energy from the two cups of coffee he drank, he chewed on his pen cap as he witnessed an interesting snapshot on his screen. It was linked to an underwater videographer’s feed. A fish inside a jellyfish! Could he turn this bizarre moment into a symbolic story left to the audience’s interpretation and imagination? The fish’s expression says it all. The gears were turning in Cavanaugh’s head

Try as the little fish might to direct its own path, the jellyfish will inevitability drag the fish wherever it pleases. Realizing its loss of autonomy, the fish’s eyes bug out in horror!

Image Credit: Tim Samuel

Cavanaugh wondered if he was insane for trying out an ambitious experiment after a period of hitting the doldrums. He was inspired by some prize-winning photos in a BBC article that he was browsing.

Image Credit: Anita Kainrath, from Austria, won Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year with Shark Nursery, showing baby lemon sharks in a mangrove in the Bahamas.

He wondered if he can authentically capture a live stream story letting the animals share their own stories. He was fascinated by their behavior. He couldn’t direct the animals, but then it wouldn’t really matter since his name wouldn’t be credited. During his time in film school, he was intrigued by a film movement founded in 1995 by Danish director Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. They wrote a manifesto called Dogme 95. The “rules” were as follows:

The question is… can he stick to the rules?

Posted in Concepts, Quotes

Blogging Insights #20 – Long form VS Short form Content

Hello everyone! Hope you are doing well! I’m officially free from the wrath of the flu! My goodness, I can just breathe a sigh of relief. 🙂 Today I want to explore this question:

Have you ever wondered the differences of impact between short-form content and long-form content for blog posts?

Today’s post will be centered on Dr.Tanya’s questions regarding blog length featured under #blogging insights on her blog, Salted Caramel.

  1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?
  2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?
  3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?
  4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

For the past eight weeks, I’ve been working on a class in which my professor wanted us to engage our audience via WordPress or LinkedIn platforms. Setting this intention and accomplishing assigned objectives required me to do some research.

I found an intriguing article called: 10 LinkedIn Publishing Tips: We Analyzed 3000 LinkedIn Blog Posts

It explored what sort of content works best on the LinkedIn platform, and various data correlation and comparison for successful LinkedIn posts. I began to wonder if there is similar analytics done for WordPress blogs.

Here are my responses to Tanya’s thought-provoking questions:

Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I really enjoy writing short form content when I want to relax from a busy, chaotic day. Typically the content I write is fun, light-hearted, and contains beautiful poetry, photo short story. This is primarily what my audience on my blog sees. It’s easier for me to generate posts prolifically when inspiration strikes spontaneously giving me more freedom to explore.

The downside to short-form content, in my opinion, is that it’s ideal for producing timely updates relevant for a short period of time which requires consistent production of posts. Otherwise, your stats and traffic begins to drop. Long-form content, on the other hand, has some lasting quality to it. While readers may not sit back and read all of it in one go, they will come back for more if they’re truly interested.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I write long form content for school or work when the content requires more time to plan and analytical thought. I enjoy writing long research papers when the subject matter is something I’m passionate about. I tend to dive really deep into the subject matter, and I lose track of time.

I’m competent in writing quality business reports, white papers, and proposals that require technical research. It’s a different sort of “like”. I feel more like a detective investigating a solution and feel a sort of thrill reaching a conclusion.

Writing long-form content develops your blog’s branding and credibility which can deepen a blogger’s relationship to their readers. Many people also reblog and reshare long-form content more often than short-form content.

How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

I feel that the ideal length varies from blogger to blogger and depends on the subject matter and purpose. Bloggers may ask themselves many questions such as:

  • Why do you blog? To improve your skills? To inspire? To meet people?
  • What are your goals? Do you want more followers? More posts?
  • Are you aligning the length of your posts with reader’s intention?

My ideal blog post tends to be 200 words or less because it works with my schedule and it’s primarily for my enjoyment that I want to share with others. It’s difficult for me to write anything longer consistently due to time constraints. Every now and then, I’ll save a long post in my draft box and work on it until completion, but those are few and far between.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

If your intention is to create viral headlines and create content that generates a lot of traffic and followers, there seems to be several articles like the Linkedin article I mentioned above where data analytics tells a story of what makes for an ideal blog post.

Blogging boot camps also give recommendations for creating and monetizing blog posts that generate large sums of profit which depending on the blogger’s values and perspectives can be very ideal.

What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

On WordPress, I prefer reading shorter posts related to fiction only because there are so many talented writers I like to read throughout my busy day. It’s easier to read shorter posts on my phone and it’s also easier to scan for information I like. If bloggers like to write extended stories, I prefer it to be broken up in separate blog posts. If I’m still interested, I can buy their book if the blogger has published one.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

Despite my preferences mentioned above however, I don’t discount the effectiveness of long-form content. I really enjoy reading long articles in The Atlantic or The New Yorker when a writer demonstrates their authority and expertise writing about something that intrigues me such as trending updates in health/wellness, nutrition, improving home space, environment, history, business, technology, or anthropology.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Long-form content provides a platform to highlight important stories that define our time and generation. It may provide in-depth knowledge that you may need to succeed in your endeavors whether it’s starting your business, working through the pain-staking issues surrounding divorce, or a how-to article on fixing the intricacies of your car.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Long-form content gets higher search rankings and outperforms short-form content in this regard. The longer readers spend time reading a blog post, the more readers can develop trust with the blogger. Readers have invested time reading more of what the blogger has produced, and therefore more likely to interact with the blogger. Bloggers give direction to their posts and target a specific audience.

Quotes

Whether my preference is either short-form or long-form, there are benefits and limitations to both. With that in mind, I think I’ll focus on delivering the best valuable content I can. Curious about the topic of content in general, I’ve collected some food for thought below regarding content.

Thanks for reading! I’ll see you soon 🙂

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, Quotes

#FFE 16 – Phases of the Effects of Broken Glass

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

European Proverb

As Mel has done, I turned to Google for help in interpreting this statement that Fandango has shared with everyone. It boils down to not criticizing the character faults of others when you have similar faults. Sounds like an ideal in understanding humanity’s fragility.

I came across some very striking interpretations along the way. Below is a creative work done by tattoo artist, Sam Barber, featuring a vulnerable woman who is struck by the aftermath from the blow of broken glass. It touches on some points Mel has written about how painstaking it is to rebuild a person who has been shattered. The storms in life can rank up such fear. How can one be comforted when they’re exposed and open to another attack once the glass has been shattered?

Jentheripper – 8 Sharp Broken Glass Tattoos

My mind jumps to an extreme literal example. My memory recalled an assignment I had about “Kristallnacht”, otherwise known as “Night of Broken Glass” during November 9-10, 1938 when the Nazis brutally assaulted the Jews while everything was ravaged and shattered.

Realizing that his home was now uninhabitable, he broke down and – as he confessed in the letter – started sobbing like a child.

Jewish merchant, Martin Fröhlich
The Conversation – The forgotten mass destruction of Jewish homes during ‘Kristallnacht’

Koenigsberg’s New Synagogue took as long as 80 YEARS to rebuild from the aftermath! Now that is the recovery of a building, can you imagine the recuperation of the people? Despite these devastating events, another Kristallnacht occurred 17 years later in Turkey in September 6, 1955.

Image Credit: Greek Reporter

Below is another compelling interpretation I found from a Dutch artist who seems to favor a realism approach acknowledging that people from glass houses will always throw stones even though they shouldn’t. From this pain, one can acquire wisdom.

Image Credit: MAF RÄDERSCHEIDT 

They say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Maybe, but sometimes it’s a good idea. Only those who live in a fragile surrounding in consciousness and with the fantasy of danger, protect themselves. And other glass houses. Daily Painting about glass houses

Alles, was Kunst ist – A painting a day keeps the doctor away

It leads me to think of the individuals who felt this way:

Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

Lao Tzu

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

Kahlil Gibran
Image Credit: Envato Market

It makes me wonder why people are attracted to super human individuals who can withstand the symbolic impact of broken glass when watching a film. Perhaps it’s because we realize how fragile we can be, and anything to the contrary intrigues or inspires us.

Image Credit: Envato Market
Posted in Awards, awareness, Books, Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dance, Dreams, Events, exercise, fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Freedom of Expression, Makeup, Music, Nature, Photography, poetry, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Twenty-Four Seven | Daily Inkling #7

Daily Inkling

Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…

Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )

Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!

Image from Shivashakti

You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.

So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.

Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:

“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”

Astrologer P. Bhattarai

Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!

Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.

Twenty-four Seven

Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!

1) Career

2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.

Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay

2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2) Books

I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:

2013: Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”

― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
Image by billy cedeno from Pixabay 

2020: The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy

Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.

Helen Russell
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay 

3) Friendships

2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.

5) Nature

2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day

Image by: Dallas Arboretum

2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn

4) Love

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.

Image by philpace from Pixabay

2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.

6) School

2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.

Image by Robert Ramsay from Pixabay

2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.

Image by dewikinanthi from Pixabay

7) Volunteer Cause

2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!

Glendale

2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.

Novyy Urengoy, Russia – June 17, 2018: Bunch of different empty soda aluminium cans.

8) Music

2013
2020
2020

9) Recreation

2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!

Image from Haute Living

2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!

Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

10) Sustainability

2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!

Image by 95C from Pixabay

11) Blogging

2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂

Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.

2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉

Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

12) Fashion Interests

2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses

Image from Popsugar

2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings

Wheretogetit.com

13) Television

2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee

Image by CW

2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug

Image by Otakucart

14) Movies

2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University

Image by PixarPost

2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic

15) News

There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.

2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden

Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.

2020: Hospital Janitor Forges Lasting Friendship Between Two Boys in Isolation After Noticing a Love of LEGOS

The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

16) Sports

2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!

The Guardian

2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball against Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the Staples Center on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

17) Technology

2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!

Phantom Quadcoptor

2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!

Image from Click and Grow

18) Favorite Hang-out spots

2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX

I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.

Image from Applespice

2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX

I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
Image by: Thrillist

I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.

Pearsall Park, San Antonio, TX

19) Languages

2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel

Image by Babbel

2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!

Image by Duolingo

20) Theatre

2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.

2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!

21) Environment

2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country

2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary

Image by Mongobay – Lemurs!

22) Health

2013: Learned about Healthcare.gov’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

23) Games

2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!

2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!

24) Quote I lived by

2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.

Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction

Germany Kent

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Socrates
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

 That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Posted in awareness, Concepts, Culture, Events, flashback, Freedom of Expression, Photography, Social Justice

Freedom of Expression – Revival!

Hamsa Hand

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Home decor at Big Lots store

Good morning everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I looked up a Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of revival to refresh my understanding and this is what popped up:

  • a new presentation or publication of something old
  • renewed attention to or interest in something
  • a return of strength and importance

When I visited my niece, I noticed reoccurring symbol in her artwork that captivated me. An eye in the palm of a hand. She herself didn’t knew what it meant but I was surprised because I’ve suddenly encountered the symbol a lot in my environment. Following my curiosity, I learned that it is known as the “Hand of God” (or Hand of Fatima), an spiritual symbol of protection from the evil eye to bring health, wealth, good fortune, happiness, good luck, and fertility. Ooo la-la!

Hamsa’s earliest origins were in the middle east. Several celebrities (Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, Jay-Z, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna) have been spotted wearing it. To learn more about the symbolic significance in various religions, you can visit this website! https://aromantly.com/blogs/spirituality/hamsa-meaning

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20190718_1453346230710039855445266.jpg
Saw this pretty necklace in the jewelry store and got it for my niece

A Visit Back to Yesteryear

Richa shared some wonderful quotes which made me reflect on my past life a bit. I was browsing through LinkedIn today and came across an article about burnout and this section prompted a flashback:

Ten years ago, I had my first experience with burnout in my early years of college. I was in need of delimiting my responsibilities. I was studying many things that I was passionate about in combination with subject matter that I was not interested in. I wasn’t getting as much sleep as I should have and lost weight from not eating properly because I was trying to keep up with my peers and stay on top of my scholarly workload.

One day, a childhood friend once noted and said to me, “You don’t pray often, do you?” I felt a little irked and thought to myself, “How would she know if I prayed in my private time? Can she really assume?” A nagging question suddenly dawned on me though. I wondered if an individual’s interior life of prayer can affect one’s external life.

Despite me conducting so much research on my assignments and looking for answers, I was cognizant of the fact that there are some things that cannot be answered via research database. One night, I lied in my bed and stared at the ceiling. Though I loved what I was doing in college, paradoxically, I also prayed for some way of escape…at least temporarily.

During my time on campus, I became aware of a religious awakening spreading throughout the student body. Many people described it as a “revival”. Speakers shared stories with a sort of fervor that I was unaccustomed to. Many students from a variety of faith backgrounds mingled, sincerely listened to each other, studied together, prayed for one another through their troubles, and offered assistance where needed.

Quenching the thirst of my curiosity, I also read academic books on the history of prayer and the power of intercessory prayer. I also poured over various religious books of wisdom while hanging out in prayer houses. I suddenly became very intrigued by these ancient books. My mom was entertained by my fascination with these dead authors. 😉

After years of the frost of cynicism covering these student lives, I witnessed dramatic transformations and strengthened relationships. Admittedly, it felt unreal to me to experience a beautiful scene of an integrated diverse community where people didn’t just tolerate differences in one another, but wholeheartedly embraced all the quirks within each other. Some developed a fresh zeal to tackle on local problems in society like hunger, diabetes, homelessness, trafficking, etc.

So! That’s what revival has meant to me in my life. What about you? 🙂

Posted in Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dreams, flashback, Freedom of Expression, Quotes

Freedom of Expression – Dream!

TOPIC FOR TODAY : DREAM/DREAMER/DREAMING

Every Thursday, I will pick up a “prompt word” to be acted upon by y’all. You are free to go wild with your imagination and interpret the “prompt” in any way that you like – photo, prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, quotes, articles or drawing/painting – whatever works for you!  In short, it’s all about you being the BOSS and choosing the best way possible to express and depict your understanding of the prompt and go berserk!

Richa @ iScriblr

I’m going to entertain myself and let myself daydream for a moment! My boyfriend would be happy to read this. He daydreams quite often, and as a result comes up with amazing ideas and solutions. I tend to underestimate the benefits reaped from simply sitting back on a bed somewhere and letting my mind wander. Sometimes I find myself drawn in many directions as I am an eclectic person. Let’s see where my stream of consciousness takes me today!

Nox @ The Daily Spur shared this photo prompt and the first thing that comes to my mind is the contours of a geological topographic map and pleated fabric. It’s minimalist, yet intriguing with its curves and shadows revealing layers and depth. I can almost imagine feeling the texture of it in my hands!

Seeing pleated fabric in Nox’s images inspires me to search for images of several pleated dresses and I stumble across some stunning gowns. I’ll save these ideas as they can be applied to future projects.

As I’m looking at this array of photos, I can’t help but think of an inspirational image I saved of Coco Chanel who was sitting at a studio desk of sorts. She had this look of wonder as she drew sketches of what she wanted to create next. The backdrop was a variety of sewing supplies in a chaotic mess of sorts. Yet, the expression on her face reflected a very clear vision of what she was going to achieve. I remembered thinking to myself, “I want to feel what Coco Chanel is feeling.” Excitement, passion, enthusiasm integrated in a grounding sense of purpose.

Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 in France. After her mother died, her father, a peddler dropped her off at an orphanage where she learned to sew. The name Coco came from her early career as a singer. She opened her shop in 1910 initially selling hats, and as she branched out, she began making clothes. Her initial success in sewing came after she refashioned an old jersey into a dress on a cold day. She continued to build on top of her thriving business by creating a fragrance line. She describes perfume so elegantly here:

Suddenly, I’m remembering my mother’s favorite Coco Chanel perfume: Nth degree #5. This elegant and timeless scent will always remind me of mom. I remembered when she found a good deal at the souvenir shop at the airport, a set of three bottles for $60 or so. Mom always loves to drift away to a fanciful world that she dreams and often brought me along with her.

Coco had her share of ups and downs in her life. She had an controversial love life tinged with a bit of scandal and some fascinating friendships including Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, and Igor Stravinski! Now I’ll just reflect on some bold quotes by Coco Chanel and keep dreaming. Thanks for reading, dear dreamer! Till next time! 😉

In response to:

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A-to-Z Challenge: Weird

It started out as a scrapbook and just kind of mutated…I call it the Wall of Weird. It’s every strange, bizarre, and unexplained event that’s happened in Smallville since the meteor shower. That’s when it all began — when the town went schizo. So what do you think?

Chloe, Season 1 Pilot
Chloe Sullivan in front of her wall

I remembered when I first watched Smallville and was intrigued by Chloe’s wall. I wonder about my own attraction towards weird things: interesting things that are out of the ordinary. Ten years ago, I lived in Austin, TX where its city motto is “Keep Austin Weird”. It is a vibrant town bustling with activity. I visited many art museums, local shops, and attended a variety of events around town. I encountered many strange things and had lunch with people who shared with me their enlightening world views and opinions.

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” 

Robert Fulghum, True Love
Cathedral of Junk
Photo Credit: Nomadic Matt

“Weirdism is definitely the cornerstone of many an artist’s career.”

E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

My latest weird discoveries were found in a shop called Earthbound! I think this particular T-shirt design is strange, bright, and colorful. It just reminded me of the aliens that I might encounter on an episode of Futurama. The caterpillar below is either playing an instrument or smoking a hookah

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A-to-Z Challenge: Synergy

Synergy between thoughts and feelings reads the universe like an opened book.

― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
Image Credit: Pixabay

Flashbacks

One day, I was going shopping with my mom and we headed out to the Mexican store to get groceries for the week. When we arrived, I was surprised to see that the store merged together with the local Korean market that was once down the street. It was fascinating seeing the two formally separate business working together side by side to share resources and learn from each other.

Last year, I attended this professional workshop at school related to the Stephen Covey’s book “7 habits of Highly Effective People”. I had a small goal of envisioning more smoother team project dynamics. Yeah…still a work in progress! 😉 As I was studying along with the instructor, I came across this cool term for the first time: synergy.

Etymology Origins

Image Credit: Pixabay

Curious about the sound of the word, I looked its roots in the dictionary and this is what popped up!

1650s, “cooperation,” from Modern Latin synergia, from Greek synergia “joint work, a working together, cooperation; assistance, help,” from synergos “working together,” related to synergein “work together, help another in work,” from syn- “together” (see syn-) + ergon “work” (from PIE root *werg- “to do”). Meaning “combined activities of a group” is from 1847; sense of “advanced effectiveness as a result of cooperation” is from 1957.

Online Etymology Dictionary

What is it?

Bruce Mayhew describes the definition in his post “7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Habit 6: Synergize“:

Synergy is what happens when two or more forces choose to work together with open, trusting intention to embrace each others differences and to overcome the challenges that will inevitably arise.  The benefit of synergy is that the end result will be something that is far superior to anything that could exist without the cooperation and sharing of the forces.

Bruce Mayhew

He goes on to discuss the general requirements for the highest level of communication to help form new ideas. Synergy is a concept that would definitely affect business negotiations and partnerships developments!

  • Have one common vision – one common goal
  • Be different
  • Have a sense of self
  • Stay open to differences and new ideas – stay authentic
  • Embrace trust
  • Accept the better way will likely not be their way…100%
  • Offer respect to everyone – everything
  • Be able to apologize and forgive
  • Practice mindful listening (listen with empathy)
  • Maintain an open desire to understand
  • Control negative judgment
  • Stay with Win / Win (not Negative synergy Win/Lose or Lose)

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