Friday, January 25, 2013

Too long

It's been 2 years since I last posted! Time to come back...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Aqueous Fluoreau

Photography by Mark Mawson of underwater neon ink...stunning! Check out the entire collection at Behance

Letter to Rachel's Parents

A beautiful letter written by Ram Dass to comfort the parents of Rachel, a teenager who was raped and murdered. This letter helped them overcome their anguish and rage over the tragedy.

Dear Steve and Anita,

Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

I can't assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience.

In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.

Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts– if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me.

In love,
Ram Dass


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Proud Introvert

Growing up, I've had the notion that being an introvert was a disadvantage. My kindergarden teacher decided to keep me for another year because I wasn't speaking or socializing with any of the other kids. Yes, I flunked kindergarden! Since then I tried to force myself to socialize more and be more outgoing although on most events I end up shutting down. Socializing has always been a daunting and overwhelming task unless it's with a few very close friends who I have strong connections with. But now that I look back, it just takes a longer time for me to adjust to new situations and to cozy up with new friends, even now.

Recently, being able to accept myself as I am with every little quirks, has actually made me more relaxed in social situations, not putting myself in so much pressure to fit in. Today I came across this article on twitter that should make all introverts out there proud :) (although for Myth #9, I am actually an adrenaline not sure where that puts me...I guess enough with labels! LoL)

Here's the full post from Carl King, the author of "So, You're a Creative Genius... Now What?":

10 Myths About Introverts

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Upgrade Your Life

Tomorrow morning, before you get out of bed, rearrange your mind to love the day. No matter what the day brings, accept everything without judgment. Instead choose to see the beauty and perfection of it all. Know that all challenges are an opportunity for you to progress. And the universe never gives you more than you can handle.

- Kelly Howell

Sunday, July 10, 2011

To love in a way that feels right for me

I watched again for the millionth time one of my favorite movie, Secretary (2002) with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. What I love about this movie is how individuals even with their odd, bizarre mentality can find their own kind of perfect relationship. "To love in a way that feels right for me" :)

My most favorite scene is (watch out spoiler!) when Mr. Grey finally comes to Lee and carries her out of the office, through the hallway and up the stairs with the song "Chariots Rise" by Lizzie West playing in the background.. yup I'm pretty sappy for romance LOL.

Here is my favorite quote from the movie:

"In one way or another I've always suffered. I didn't know why exactly. But I do know that I'm not so scared of suffering now. I feel more than I've ever felt and I've found someone to feel with. To play with. To love in a way that feels right for me. I hope he knows that I can see that he suffers too. And that I want to love him. Each cut, each scar, each burn, a different mood or time. I told him what the first one was, told him where the second one came from. I remembered them all. And for the first time in my life I felt beautiful. Finally part of the earth. I touched the soil and he loved me back." ~ Lee

Monday, July 4, 2011

Inspiration of the day: The Saints of Somalia, Dr Hawa Abdi and Her Daughters

I came across this inspirational video from about Dr Hawa Abdi, a mother and her two daughters who are doctors in Somalia. They built a camp which now has 90,000 people, with 75 percent of them women and children. With only 5 doctors and 16 nurses they meet about 300 patients a day, perform 10-20 surgeries, and still has the strength to manage the camp and a school of 850 children.

There are only 2 rules to enter the camp:
First rule: there is no clan distinguished and political division in Somali society, anyone who makes it will be thrown out
Second: no man can beat his wife, or he will be put to jail and never released.

One of the quotes I loved:
"...thing that I have realized, that the woman is the most strong person all over the world. Because the last 20 years, the Somali woman has stood up. They were the leaders, and we are the leaders of our community and the hope of our future generations. We are not just the helpless and the victims of the civil war. We can reconcile. We can do everything."

I also love the mother daughter dynamics that they share. When the daughter, Dr. Deqo Mohamed was asked how it's like to be working with her mother she answered:

"She's very tough, it's most challenging. She always expects us to do more. And really when you think you cannot do it, she will push you, and I can do it. That's the best part. She trains us how to do and how to be better people"

They are such a courageous and strong-willed women, and with all that they go through in their daily lives, you can see they still hold such high spirits and a positive attitude with their big smiles and lively demeanor. Seeing this video also makes me feel even more connected to my own mother and the loving person that she is. A thought for today...when you're feeling down, sometimes it helps to remember that there's a bigger world out there and so many people that needs can be overwhelming to think about who to help though... so lets start with the person right next to you. I'll start with giving my mother a hug :)

Some facts about Somalia:

Population: 8,592,000
Capital: Mogadishu; 1,175,000
Language: Somali, Arabic, Italian, English
Religion: Sunni Muslim
Life Expectancy: 46
Literacy Percent: 38
Industry: A few light industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining (mostly shut down)
Agriculture: Bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts; cattle; fish
Exports: Livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal

"The Somalis are one of the most homogeneous peoples in Africa, but unity is thwarted by clan-based rivalries. Civil war ended a 21-year dictatorship in 1991, and Somalia has been without a national government since that time. UN efforts from 1992 to 1995 to stop clan fighting failed, and UN and U.S. forces left after suffering high casualties. In southern Somalia the absence of a government means declining health and increasing poverty." — Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Some links and articles:
Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation | Keeping hope alive
Somalia: A nation of “NGOs”
by Drinking tea in Mogadhishu: The life of one Somali-American woman
Somalia NGO Consortium
Glamour's Women of the Year 2010
Dr. Hawa Abdi & Her Daughters: The Saints of Somalia