Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! What a time to be a mom! I wrote an open letter to mom this year:
There’s really no one like you.
I mean, who else tickles my feet at 5am just to get a head start on the day? You tell me that there’s so much to learn, to explore, and to do! I’ve learned how precious time is and just how much can be accomplished within the 24 hours.
You are a beacon of strength and resilience with steadfast convictions, unwavering belief and faith in spite of fear. You are an outspoken straight shooter which used to fluster me, but at least I knew what was on your mind.
Your astounding generosity is shown in all the little things you do. All the meanwhile, you can be a mischievous prankster just to keep me on my toes. There’s never a dull moment! I miss your inquisitive interjections during movies we watch.
If you really wanted to do something, you don’t wait for other people to get on board with you. You just do it! A powerhouse. A busy bee. I’ll never forget the day when you wanted to go shopping, I didn’t get ready fast enough, and you actually left me in the dust. >_<
You and dad always believed that great opportunities don’t come everyday, so you recognize and seize them with every chance you get. You create opportunities by teaching yourself.
You always made me feel beautiful inside and out even when I didn’t always feel like it. You never let me rest on my laurels and always challenge me to reach higher for the stars. You taught me to experience things out of my comfort zone because that’s where some of the most rewarding things in life happen.
You inspire me even with all your imperfections. You’re a super heroine. Have a relaxing Mother’s Day, Mom. It’s okay to have some downtime. 🙂
He transformed into a tough security guard, and wherever I went, he was there….
Last night, I had an disturbing dream where a coworker’s omnipresence at a building’s every entrance unsettled me. With his steely gaze, he said firmly, “Sa, you can’t leave. You have been QUARANTINED.” I look behind me to find a packed auditorium surrendering to the shadows.
This morning, the city mayor and important officials imposed a shelter-in-place order on the residents for at least three weeks to help “flatten the curve“. Those who choose not to follow the rules can face a fine of $2000.
In the midst of the fearful masses, courageous people throughout the community have displayed admirable, selfless acts of service. A small alteration business has been donating their fabric to help make more masks for the medical professionals in the hospital. There has been an increase in volunteers at the homeless shelters and food banks helping those that are most vulnerable.
Fear and faith can’t occupy the same space.
A friend shared a post-it note and the above declaration with me. I thought to share this post-it with you and invite you to reflect on these questions in your own lives.
1. What are you GRATEFUL for today?
Good morning from my end! 🌻🌅
Emojis! Regardless of how Rory Gilmore feels about them!
Stress-relief balls of all shapes and sizes!
Yarn for crocheting Harry Potter House scarves for everyone!
Adult coloring books, comic books, and magazines to create collages!
Business and work that allows me to work from home!
But seriously…. Most of all… Dare I say it? 😆 YOU’RE da bomb! 💣💥
Today, I celebrate having 600 followers on my blog! 🍹💝 THANK YOU! You guys are all rock stars in my eyes! 🙌 Shining bright like diamonds in the sky creating beautiful constellations.
Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy You and I, you and I, we’re like diamonds in the sky You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy …. At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays I saw the life inside your eyes
Each of you has impacted my world one way or another. Words cannot express how deeply appreciative I am for your presence. You have brought a full spectrum of emotions from jubilation, sadness, humor, and companionship into my life by sharing pockets of your life through a variety of mediums: film, poetry, story, & photos.
Truly, you’ve made my life richer. You’ve even inspired me to take my first virtual poetry workshop (Sharpened Visions) hosted by California Institute of the Arts on Coursera which I never thought I would do.
2. Who am I CHECKING IN or CONNECTING WITH today?
Unable to visit anyone due to new laws enacted in my city, I’ve checked in family, friends, coworkers, former coworkers, and other acquaintance-friends in my phone book. A friend who worked on the front lines as a medical worker passed away recently.
Today I’m checking in with you! How are you? Are you relishing the homebody lifestyle? Or…are you itching go somewhere?
3. What expectations of “NORMAL” am I LETTING GO OF today?
Such a timely question considering how the purpose of my blog explores just that! Lately, I’ve noticed that there is a deeper spiritual hunger which wants to be quenched perhaps not just in myself but around the world. I came across this story below.
Finally, after over an hour, a beautiful sight rose before my eyes. The Yamuna River, descended from the Himalayas, having flowed through the plains of North India, was embracing Mother Ganges—Yamuna with her complexion of deep blue, Ganges with hers of white, and the transparent Saraswati joined them from below.Sitting on the sandy bank, I gazed into the cloudless blue sky.
There, a hawk, wings extended, soared the airways. His reddish-brown feathers shone in the sun as he hovered lower and lower, till he was just a few yards above my head, his glistening yellow eyes intently scanning the river. Suddenly he plunged headlong into the Ganges.
There, a frantic underwater skirmish ensued until he emerged with a flapping fish, about a foot long, pierced in the grip of his talons. Squirming desperately, the fish was carried overhead and into a nearby forest. Looking on I reflected:
The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death.
Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment.
We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs.
If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind.
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
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? 🙂
Good evening everyone, I feel a sense of loss as I learned from bloggers, Fandango, WillowDot21, Idorun, Jordy, that Helene has passed away. She was such a beautiful spirit and author of What Do You See Weekly Challenge. I feel sad that I cannot even re-read all of her beautiful poems again. Like many others, I loved her sweet comments and thought-provoking, lovely images that so many of us responded to each week.
When I was a young girl, I read a book called, “A Begonia for Miss Applebaum”, by Paul Zindel. Two teenagers, Henry and Zelda, brought their favorite teacher a begonia and soon learned that she had cancer. Miss Applebaum taught them quite a few more life lessons before she passed. I remembered that this book was poignant, gentle, charming, and silly at times. I also remembered wondering if a teacher like Miss Applebaum would come into my life.
Miss Helene was one of those favorite teachers. I’m glad that I got to meet her here in the blogosphere. In honor of her memory, I would like to dedicate these photos of flowers that I took this past week to her. She has forever touched my heart. ❤
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Joseph Campbell
Hello everyone! I first saw this challenge on Winnie’s blog in which I enjoyed the beauty she explores. Sadje at Keep it Alive has found this scavenger hunt, and she invited her followers along. So, I decided to tag along as well!
Find something that makes you happy
Currently I’m feeling good as I am building a website for a church while listening to an enjoyable tropical deep house playlist. I’m learning so many concepts! I love coding with a programming language and creating something beautiful out of the lines of characters.
Something to give someone else to make them smile
I recently helped fund raise to help a friend build his own computer by selling books. It was a lot of fun to help him build it from scratch and a fantastic learning experience! It’s a tight squeeze, but slowly getting there. Once the zip ties are in place, we’ll wrap it up. 😉
Find one thing that you love to smell
I enjoy visiting the Pier 1 Import store. Colorful, bright, with a peaceful ambiance. I came across a lovely scent “Pink Champagne” as I stopped by the candle section.
Find one thing you enjoy looking at
I enjoyed viewing this fun pillow with flamingos. 🙂
Find something that’s your favorite color
Stopped by this dream of a store called Sam Moon’s! I was “window shopping” as I enjoyed checking out these fun, unique accessories. Tassels and pineapples are trending!
Find something that you are thankful for in nature
I bought two bonsai plants at a nursery for my brother’s college graduation and mom’s mother’s day gift. They both really enjoy plants.
Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone
It’s teacher’s appreciation week and my last day volunteering with the youth literacy group this year. I made gifts for the teacher and the two boys. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!
Find something that is useful for you
This book caught my attention while hanging out at a friend’s place. The title stood out to me on the shelf, and my friend let me borrow it. According to Amazon, Mr. Kahneman’s book explores how we think and our cognitive biases in a nutshell. Something I will skim to explore why I make the choices I do! 🙂
Well that wraps it up! Much gratitude to all of you for stopping by! Hope you find pockets of gratitude in your lives! See you in a bit! 😉
Kristen has invited us to think about attitude for Rory’s 3.2.1. Quote Me Challenge this week. I discovered a poem and some quotes about optimism and its link to attitude which makes me reflect on my own life. Enjoy!
Heal Yourself By: Laya Sarath
The self within you is perturbed Rusty, Dusty, unclear and broken Ruptured spirit you carry within It needs to be healed… Healed from within your spirit The soul needs to be nourished With good deeds and thoughts The soul within must be rejuvenated Neatly cleaned and polished so to Flow positive energy through body… Cleanse the spirit, awaken yourself Embrace solitude Solitude I say is very powerful To know the being within you
Some days you are more powerful Than anyone around you.. Your company to self has stronger And greater impact in life… You would feel more relaxed And determined on your own… And that’s the time you realize How strong and better you are On your own… For some reasons, you are stronger Than anyone today, And this must go on
Heal Yourself; Live Yourself
Quotes on Optimism
When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.
W. Bruce Cameron
One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore faith in yourself.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Optimism, by the way, is not a superficial attitude. It’s a very muscular attitude. It’s a bold attitude that says no matter what, I can find a way. I can find the resources to deal with this.
Dr. Ned Hallowell
Optimism is the tool to help you get up after a fall, and to keep going toward the life you really want.
Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.
Don’t worry about whether it’s half full or half empty. The point is, it’s refillable. That’s really all that matters.
An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back into difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.
Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t go anywhere until you change it.
A positive attitude can turn a storm into a sprinkle.
Previous Posts in 2019 A to Z Challenge ABCDEFGH IJKLMN O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
I chatted with her about awareness, and I decided to create a new category on my blog. There are several causes that are close to my heart, but haven’t shared them due to cultural upbringing. Slowly testing new waters here!
I came across this blog post by Jason Muckley from Poems for Warriors posted a quote by Maya Angelou that seemed to be a game changer for me.
Between my studies this week, I want to share a few stories like I always do and take the time to reflect on important memories in my life. I’ve worked on this post little by little feeling a lot of things in small doses. Names have been changed. I don’t know if these people know how much they mean to me or how much they have touched my life. I want to tell you how much I love you. ❤ There’s a ripple effect when someone commits suicide. Everyone who has known a person who struggled with it will know that feeling. I’ve explored that in my own relationships.
Childhood Crush “There’s an emergency! Liam passed out in the bathroom!!”
I looked up from my assignment and saw my classmate yelling at our fourth grade teacher pleading for help for his best friend. “No, it couldn’t be.” I was numb and distraught because I harbored a silent crush on Liam ever since I met him.
Liam didn’t hold back just because I was a girl when we played basketball. He gave it his all and played aggressively on the court which in turn made me a better player. He defended me when some girls decided to pick on me. He was always the cool, confident boy that both girls and guys liked.
I found out that Liam tried to kill himself while taking a restroom break. Here was a guy who I thought nothing could faze him. His best friend told me that his father recently killed himself, and Liam blamed himself for everything. I felt so fragile knowing that Liam was going through this pain, and I had no idea how to help him. It was the first time I heard of the term suicide.
I was so rattled that I was the last person to finish the writing portion of a standardized test a few weeks later. I was sweating, crying, and could hardly focus on the assigned prompt. The teachers proctoring the exam spoke among themselves. Writing usually came naturally to me, yet it was unbearably difficult that day.
Cousin I found out my cousin’s girlfriend broke up with him causing a severe depression. He told his mom that he wanted to kill himself. His mom was surprised that her normally happy son felt this way. My aunt took him to a suicidal ideation treatment center & hospital where he stayed for several weeks.
News reached out to the rest of us like a ripple effect. We were all really worried. I grew up with him. I had a blast playing video games with him growing up. When he was finally discharged, he was never quite the same. When I smiled at him during one family reunion, I was grateful that he smiled back. I hugged him. I was glad he was back.
Colleague One day I was walking to school, and I noticed several police officers stationed at the apartment adjacent to us. Brilliant math student died by suicide that afternoon. His classmates felt like he had everything going for him, and didn’t understand what happened or why he felt that way. Yet, so much was going on the university campus that year. The student body was in a perpetual state of frenzy. Students were protesting about tuition hikes and slept outside to make a statement. Political climate was toxic at the time.
Friend “Trick or treat!” My friend opened the door and showed off her skeleton makeup. She had invited me over for a small Halloween get together one year.
When I first met her, she had this awesome rocker chick vibe. Her witty remarks easily made me laugh. Her humor was tinged with a sharp intelligence. I was fascinated by her essence and the impressive insights she shared in class. Her poetry was exquisite and the structure of them was captivating! I admired her boldness and outspokenness.
One day at 3 am, she sent me a chilling message informing me that she was in the hospital because she attempted suicide and thanked me for being a good friend. She now works for Americorp helping kids, published a book, won a few awards, and lives a life with purpose and gratitude. I’m so proud of her.
Suicide can affect anyone from any background at any time in his or her life. You are not weak when you are asking for help.
Wow! Again, I feel humbled and honored. Thank you! I have been nominated by Laura Bailey who posts about her musings, adventures, hiking, a love of Ireland, and other experiences. 🙂 I enjoy her poetry! I’ve been grateful for her prompts which were a guide in several of my stories here on this blog. She’s a resilient woman who “wears many shoes” which inspired the title of her blog, “All the Shoes I Wear“. She’s been a supportive, encouraging influence on the blogosphere. We enjoy her sense of humor and her presence!
What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.
Sunshine Blogger Award Rules: -Thank the blogger who nominated you. -Answer the 11 questions asked. -Nominate 5 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions. -List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
Who is your best friend and what do you have in common? My best friend’s name is Rose. We met when we were teenagers in the cafeteria of the middle school we both attended and 18 years later, we’re still friends today. We’ve been through a lot together. We also supported and encouraged each other to reach our wildest dreams! Recently attended her wedding! Though we have our differences, we also have quite a bit in common!
Avid readers & curious, questioning minds
Long distance runners on the track team
Enjoy the arts such as singing & painting
Love to sew & design our own fashions
Traveled to France when we were kids
Enjoy Celine Dion’s songs
Compassionate & sensitive personalities
Come from big families with varied personalities
Christ followers though different spiritual backgrounds
What is your favorite place to go and why? Tough one to answer because I’ve traveled to many places that I love! So, I’m going to go with a favorite location nearest to me: the Riverwalk. I love walking along the path next to this man-made river in the city at night. I love how it’s crackling with activity at the restaurants and bars! I enjoy listening to the mariachi bands that occasionally play their romantic ballads on stage. I love watching the cosplayers walk around in their unique, hand-made outfits during anime convention season.
If you watch television, what is your favorite show? Again, tough one to answer because I’ve watched a lot of engaging shows in the past! I like a lot of stuff! So I’ll just go through a FEW here. 🙂
Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt is hilarious!
Chuck is also a funny comedy I enjoy!
Just finished watching “Haven” which totally caught my attention with its sci-fi mystery and connection to Steven King’s story “The Colorado Kid”.
Also, I have a fascination with Korean dramas! I finished “Strong Woman Do Boon Soon”, “Man to Man”, ” 12 Years Promise”
Life does not feel complete without the Star Trek Voyager crew!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an exciting tale of the aftermath of two brothers trying to revive their mother from the dead.
What is the book that you would recommend that everyone read? Difficult to choose because it depends on the person! The bible has impacted my life… “Teachings on Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh
What is your favorite thing to do on a daily basis? I’m a tactile person. I love messing with these two-toned glitter throw pillows! Rubbing my hands back and forth over the sequins helps me relieve stress. It’s oddly satisfying… 🙂
Share an interesting fact about your life. I once built and programmed a Lego robot that could push small balls.
What is one word that describes you best? Explain. Broad-minded. 🙂 My posts have demonstrated this quality.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be and why? I’m very blessed, and there’s not much I would change, though I want to change jobs eventually. I would like a job that would pay me for what I deserve, allow me to develop my talents and interests, and open up new avenues for exploration.
What do you consider to be the priority of your life? Family, Faith, Learning
Tell us your favorite author and why. These questions have got to be more specific! There are so many favorites that I have in each genre:
Michael Crichton: Love his advanced, fast-paced, sci-fi worlds
Dan Brown: Enjoy how his characters explores esoteric research, also action packed
JK Rowling: Childhood favorite- I stood in lines outside the store just to get the next Harry Potter book.
Douglas R. Hofstadter who wrote Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid in which the density satisfies my mathematical inclinations.I enjoy stories that have a detective as a protagonist. Rex Stout sums it up!
What is one thing that you wish everyone knew about you? Sometimes, when people first meet me they might find me boring on the surface. I feel like people have pegged me to be a certain way. Yet, I have such a wild imagination and fantasies that I’ve always wanted to pursue. 🙂
Again you’re welcome to respond. If not that’s okay! Just wanted to recognize you today! 🙂
Questions to Nominees
1) Where do you get your inspiration from?
2) Where do you draw your strength from in life?
3) Is there a meaningful book you’d recommend to your readers?
4) What is one experience that has changed the direction of your life?
5) What is one song that resonates with who you are?