Monday, March 28, 2011


This piece was sent to me by a good friend online. Sez if it would be for a lovely post. It's worthy to be quoted and posted again and again on anyone's fb page. Much to learn from it. And I've been trying to tell this to my workaholic of a daughter gazillion times over ... :-)

I now quote: (Italics are mine to stress a point)

Speech by Chetan Bhagat at Symbiosis...

"Don't just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a BALANCED, SUCCESSFUL LIFE. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.

There is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.

Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first.

Same is with life where health and relationships are the marble. YOUR STRIVING IS ONLY WORTH IT IF THERE IS HARMONY IN YOUR LIFE. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One thing about nurturing the spark - DON'T TAKE LIFE SERIOUSLY. Life is not meant to be taken seriously, as we are really TEMPORARY here. We are like a PRE-PAID CARD with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. DO WE REALLY NEED TO GET SO WORKED UP?

It's ok, bunk a few classes, scoring low in couple of papers, goof up a few interviews, take leave from work, Enjoy with your friends, fall in love, little fights with your loved Ones. WE ARE PEOPLE, NOT PROGRAMMED DEVICES."

"Don't be serious, BE SINCERE."

-- Unquote.
There you go. So many have been saying this before and many more will in many different ways and languages until we finally get it right. And if you've been paying close attention to that tiny voice inside, you will know that God has been saying it to you too. Don't let this messed-up-world shape you --- YOU shape the world. Make a difference while you can. And be that difference now. Know how to live.. truly live.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today was just one of those lazy days when nothing seems more enticing than just lounging on that comfy couch with a book. Yup taking a break from the writing. But on another thought this could also be the right moment to try something different. Any place I can put my gear is my workshop. Living room, dining room, bedroom, or garage. Haven't tried the last two though. Might try the garage and enjoy an occasional breath of fresh air at the same time. Sounds like a good idea, right?

And so I painted.... the result of which you may see above.

The inspiration for this piece was provided by several landscape photos of Stephen Baird in his blog 'Nikon Sniper'.

Hope you're all having a lovely and blessed day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I have a good friend of many years to whom I would like to address this post. My friend woes the years gone by so quickly and wondered where it all had gone --- wishing that she could turn back the time to where she was young happy and able. But this does not concern her alone. I think the subject wraps around everybody journeying their lives respectively..... from their spring to the winter of their lives now or will be soon. This piece was quoted/posted by Tom in his blog. I liked it so much and thought how my friend should see this... why I'm bringing it here. It's a long piece but worth the read, definitely worth the read. Do take a minute .... you'll be glad you did. As I was by it.

To quote...

And then it is Winter.

You know. . . time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all... And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams...

But, here it is... the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise...
How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well... seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like...

But, here it is... my friends are retired and getting gray... they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant... but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so... now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last... this I know, that when it's over... its over...Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done... things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done.

It's all in a lifetime...

So, if you're not in your winter yet... let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember... and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one."

So then .....

-- Unquote.

(This post found in
Thanks, Tom. God bless!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


That must be hard to understand when your troubles mount like a huge tornado above your head. Exaggeration, of course, but it means only one thing – troubles suck. So I’m not going to heap on advice because that’s not what one needs when the going gets tough. Nor am I going to plug in that cliche ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. We’re not going there this time; we’re going in another direction but still on the plane of troubles.

Unmistakeably trouble is on every person’s plate. No one is spared although we fight it with everything we’ve got. At times we succeed in licking it, but most times it stands there immovable like a rock. So why doesn’t it leave no matter how much we want it to-- despite the tons of prayers we throw up to God? Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know one thing from my own share or experience of it -- there’s something in there for us to learn.

This is how I understand it. Trouble, problem, struggle or whatever name it is called is not the ‘enemy’. It is a friend and like a good friend, it does everything in its power to jolt us to our right senses. It shakes us to our roots to make us see and confront our weaknesses, correct what may be corrected, and move ahead with renewed resolve and fresh new hope.

Troubles aren’t there to destroy or mess up life for us. We do that to ourselves using our fogged-up brains and wrong attitudes. Rather what it does is tell us that we need to stop-look-listen – because maybe something isn’t working anymore and may need to be changed. But we seem not to see that, instead we are quick to ‘point the finger’ at someone or something, except ourselves.

How 'bout we do things differently this time? How 'bout taking our eyes off our troubles for a bit? Let me engage you in some mental exercise. One for the heart too. So then, tick off ten things in your life that makes you happy... and I mean really happy. It's simple -- Just ten.

While you're thinking, let me show you my own list....

1. Smart, responsible, affectionate daughters
2. Adorable pets --- three dogs and one lazy fat cat
3. Writing or blogging
4. Friends, up real and too online
5. Home and house
6. Drawing and painting
7. God
8. Mini library in the living room stacked with good books
9. Tiny garden pots of blooming violets
10. CD player and a shelf of favorite music cd's

... there's more but I said ten only, didn't I? :-)

If you've done your list, observe that you will be smiling... somehow. Not only because you remembered the good times you had with each but because your heart has grown lighter – happier with every memory. The troubles you may have been feeling moments ago will then seem to be pushed far to the back – forgotten in the joys of the hour..

There’s a name to what you’re doing --- ‘counting your blessings’. If you look closely at the list you have ticked off, you will see that they are many—and if you break it down some more, it will double-up in number. See how it works? Your blessings are far more than your troubles. God made sure of that from the start.

So how then can one or two problems put you down – when you’ve got ten or twenty good things on your side working for you? Isn’t that more than enough to get you energized and recharged to get back on track again? Won’t that even spur you anew to more creative and aggressive solutions to your problems?

Doesn't that tell you that nothing much has been lost -- you still have you and your blessings. You still have God.And when you have triumphed or conquered at the end (we always do), you may even find yourself appreciating your troubles as blessings, too. Perhaps then-- that is the lesson and the reason for its existence in our lives.
So shall we start counting blessings now? I’ll race you to it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


“Winning is the result of having a winner’s mind and a winning positive ‘can-do’ attitude. Winning has everything to do with being in the right place at the right time as well as being ready to grab the opportunity and take the challenge to win. Winning takes determination and persistence. And as with most things in life, it takes practice to perfect, too.” ----Anon.

That’s lifted from an article in a magazine I was reading as my hair was being pampered, softened, and beautified by a wonderful affable beautician-friend. This was my quarterly visit to her shop and the package included a manicure and pedicure, too. Most women would do this monthly but monthly I can do by myself. The thing is coming here to the parlor is more therapeutic than simply punching holes in my wallet. I leave my cares and woes outside the parlor door and simply bask in superb pampering and pleasure inside. Temporary, still it’s a good option for a mini-vacation other than a big expensive trip to Boracay Island.

My beautician-friend as she works on my hair chirps away on the latest Hollywood juicy bit in her sing-song voice like Tweety, that lovable cartoon character. But I love this Tweety and I love my friend. I knew her since she first started in this business. It was nothing like this at all. Her first shop then was small and spare. She had only one person, a cousin, who helped her with her small base of regular customers. Some days I would catch her staring out the window with thoughts lost somewhere. I knew the bills were piling up and the challenges grew bigger as life became difficult.

But this petite lady had spunk; she knew what she wanted. A year ago, she held an office job, saved a portion of her pay each month, and against the advice of family and friends left it. Thus began her journey to a dream-- her own shop. She took out a loan and added it to her small fund. With determination, perseverance, and sensible money-management, she bit-by-bit put together what she now proudly calls her ‘Beauty Haven’.

My friend came out a winner. That’s the stuff winners are made of. Winners don’t sit around sulking or moping. Neither do they fear failure or think ‘I can’t do it’, ‘It’s impossible’. Winners try to make it happen and keep on trying until it does happen! Even when the odds seem huge and insurmountable, nothing will faze a winner permanently. My friend didn’t buckle down under that load.

Yet it’s okay, too, to stop, sit, think-- looking out the window like my friend did. One will need to do that – recharge, evaluate, energize. But go back into the fight one should with renewed strength, courage, and determination. There is no easy way to do it but through the struggle. Sleepless nights, furrowed brows, ulcer pangs, time-problems, people-problems, dearth of resources — those are but a few of the challenges down that road.

My friend knew yet doggedly pursued her dream working her skills to perfection with every trial and test. She made her dream happen! She prayed that she would. She’s a winner and a happy one. You see, winners are made not born. Don’t we all love success stories!
Be like the flower, turn your faces to the sun! :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Do you know what goes in a pot of stew? I’m not a cook.. well, I try but it comes off much tastier when somebody else does it. But I can see bits and pieces of all sorts go into it. You’ve got meat, vegetables, spices, water, etc. And it all gets mixed up together and the fire cooks it up to just right.

So is life.

We too get all bits and pieces of all sorts of things and experiences which get intertwined in our lives each day. We get knocked up and down and around in that mix which then makes us lose our bearing or hold in life. Easily we can lose ourselves in it.

But wait! It doesn’t happen for no good reason. Look hard, think hard. Every bit of what may seem ‘scrap’ to you – bits here and there – are actually lending interest to the whole of things. Get it? Those odds and ends are just the spice that livens up your life. Every different thing in that odd mix makes its own contribution to the whole effort --- life!

And what creates it into a delicious whole? Attitude – it’s the fire that cooks it up to just right. It helps us appreciate hidden beauty and truths, makes us see where true value lies, and delight in the way it all blends up to create a delicious sumptuous pot of stew –

Yes, life is a pot of stew. :-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Tell you something, for one full hour today I just did nothing. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. Didn't play music, didn't do the usual things I love doing ... researching - writing - painting - morning walk .... Just stayed still ... with myself.

So what was my point?
My point is this... that a person needs to have alone time. One has to tear down the curtain of the noise and bustle of daily living and of this crazy world we're in. I felt like I was being boxed in by the cares of the day and of life in general, that things were making my world smaller as it tried to squeeze me from all sides. I was losing control. So before it could come to that point I had to do something.... and something like cold turkey. Meaning just do nothing and be still.

So I just sat there on the couch... with all my senses awake... taking stock of my surroundings... feeling the moment.... but not reacting to it. Just sat there very still. Maxie my darling house dog got up on the couch and sat beside me as she always did but I ignored her. I simply looked at her and she looked back at me quite puzzled sensing something different in the moment. Then she shifted her position bringing her head closer to me, looked up at me again... still I did not respond. A few seconds passed then she placed her head on my lap and kept still... just like me.

Yeah, nothing earth shaking in that moment but there it was --- my lesson in peace and calm. Felt every knot in my tense muscles, stress and anxiety in my nerves, clouded brain cells --- all drain away just like waves that rush up to the shore and wash away the sand back to the sea.

Alone time -- that's what it does to a person. It unties the knots, clears the cobwebs in the brain, energizes, recharges, restores, heals ... and gives you the chance to pet a lovely dog whose pretty dog eyes tell you that she loves you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I start out with a set of expectations for every new experience coming my way. But almost always these expectations get dumped or brushed aside because something else is being formed or brought forth holding its own distinct wonder and flavor.

But if I so stubbornly held on to my expectations, it would have come out in a far different way I think. It would then be something that was according to ‘my’ wants, ‘my’ set of parameters or conditions, and ‘my’ desired results.

Where is the thrill in that? ‘Expectations’ rob the thrill off a new experience. Yes, they do. And if you’re going to say that one can’t detach himself from having expectations on anything and everything, I’ll say yes to that, but…..let those expectations be tempered with knowing that some things will happen when they happen without any help from you.

So don’t try to color it by setting down expectations, yours, for it to arrive at ‘your’ desired results. Let the new experience ride. Let it reveal to you its wonder, beauty, joy, magic, adventure, delight, wisdom, truth in its own distinct and unique way.

Let it perhaps squeeze out of you feelings which you may have forgotten or have chosen to ignore. Let it alter some old preconceived notions about things and people, perhaps make you see that perhaps you have been wrong about them after all?

Expectations are good, has its uses, but don’t let it stand in the way of wonder and learning.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Another friend here requested for this re-post. So then, here it is, fella .....

Do you know that you, me, and everybody else are nothing but pots? Yeah, pots! Or would you prefer to be called a vase or a vessel. Whatever it is that signifies a container meant to hold something, you are it. We all are. But I would like to use the word.. pot.. for this post.

Now what do we do with that? Let me tell you what I did with mine.

I am a pot...

When I was a baby I put in all that was about being a kid. Innocense, pleasure, delight, awe, fun, birthday cakes, warm beds, doggies, and... mommy and daddy. It was great. Everything centered on me and I was everybody's priority. All I had to do was smile my cutest and throw in a tantrum or two to get them to my side pronto. That filled my baby pot.

Then I was ten. I couldn't be a baby anymore although I would have preferred to be as it seemed that mom and dad would always be coming at me to do this and do that. But school was great, had new friends, lots of fun things to do with them, was more aware of my newly found likes and dislikes. I was liking chocolate bars and cakes, coca-cola, nice teachers, field trips to museums, and always loved Sally and Susan -- my cute walking dolls. That filled my pot a notch higher.

Then they called me a teenager. Oh there was much in this new world that I never had before. I discovered that I loved pink, dresses, ladies bags and shoes, adored my first crush next door, enjoyed sketching and designing clothes, delighted in poem-writing, and wrote for the high school paper. That filled my cup two notches higher. Plus another with college that followed.

Then I found myself wearing size 7 high-heeled shoes walking it to a place which looked like an office. I discovered that I was good at making tons of reports -- weekly, monthly, annuallly -- and did some travel, lectures and trainings for new employes, reveled in office camaraderie and events and more. That brought my pot fuller almost to the brim.

Then life turned more adult. What does that mean? Marriage, children, sickness, death, disappointment, sorrow, fear, anger, betrayal, change, challenge, and all the stuff which makes an adult even wish in exasperation for the good years past. My pot now went on full and over.

So to be able to make sense out of all that I thought... I needed to do something. And fast. Or else so much would be lost. All of my history, all that made me, all for nothing if I let something like a full pot have its way.

I emptied my pot.

... and by so doing have made room for insights, perceptions, inretrospection, wisdom which I wouldn't have done being so involved in the living aspects of life. I needed to empty my pot so that new things could come in --- things which made sense of everything that I had gone through. It was there all along simply waiting in the wings for its turn to be inside my pot so that it could do its work.

This is where I believe that everything in our lives, no matter how tiny or insignificant it may be or maybe bigger than what we want it to be, is there for a reason. But reason which cannot reveal itself until or if we don't give it that needed room or space to do so.

To empty our pot makes that possible. An empty pot invites it in. And this would give us all the treasure we may want or hope to acquire. This takes us higher to a better place of self and of understanding life, people, the world, and God. That's right. Whatever we want our day or our life to be, depends on how much we are willing to empty ourselves... and make room for more blessings.

One unknown writer puts it this way....

"We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want." --- (Anon.)

How much you can put into your pot really depends on you.

God bless you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Life is a dizzying roller-coaster ride and so is love. You will never get to stay at a certain point or experience as another thread rolls-in and takes you into another rolling spin. You’ll never have time to catch your breath or breathe at all. Mine took me from joy, disappointment, fear, frustration, anger, defeat, hate, puzzlement, surprise, and again back. It ran the whole gamut of emotions of that proverbial emotional range or spectrum of love and life. ----- Do you wonder if there was a point where I wished to be and stay on forever? Or another on which I wished didn’t exist at all? Yes, to both questions.

When bad times roll I literally gnash my teeth in utter confusion, anger, resentment, frustration, and despair. Things just happen in a fast clip that I’d wish so hard for the world to stop turning and let me off. It was just too much for a frail solitary vulnerable figure, which was me, to catch. Here’s a sample. Ever met the male version of ‘Delilah’? I did and I foolishly played the role of trusting ‘Samson’ to his devious portrayal of ‘Delilah’. He promised me the moon and the stars but I ended up colliding with an asteroid instead! Or -- maybe this. ‘Been through a crisis when someone dear is so ill and needs to be rushed to the hospital but nobody's there to help you at all? Who ever invented fair-weather relatives and friends huh?!! Or try this, know what it’s like to have somebody ‘steal’ your ideas, blatantly get the credit for it, and moved up the corporate ladder with nary a bit of shame in his evil soul? It sucks, doesn’t it? It sure does and you can only find it here in this seething vicious man-made corporate jungle.

So my mind was forming the idea that all these was all there is to life and love. It’s just one painful journey to another. Nothing more. But I was wrong because you know what, some unknown force from out of nowhere seemed to mercifully slow down my world, calmed the treacherous waters of my pain, parted the dreary clouds of suffering and let the glorious sunshine through. How? Know this feeling of ‘butterflies’ in your stomach when someone looks at you and there in his eyes you see yourself as the Queen of Roses – his? Remember how it feels to hold a new-born baby in your arms – yours? Felt deeply that gratitude and relief on finding one, a stranger to start with, but who turned-out to be your staunch friend in pain and sorrow? Are you familiar with the joy happiness and excitement welling-up inside you and rising to your throat almost choking you --- Because you just bagged a million-dollar deal for your boss and made them all deliriously ecstatic over it? All wonderful, isn’t it? In the midst of it all, you begin to think “Gosh, somebody up there must like me after all!” Then you cry wishing so hard that you could stay in this well of happiness forever and more.

But it isn’t like that at all. That’s what Mom would always tell me. -----“Ellen, you’ll get it all, not just one or two. Not simply happy, not always sad. You’ll have the full spectrum - the whole journey - the complete KALEIDOSCOPE of life….and love --- Maybe joyful and colorful in one, pain and sorrow in another. But everything every bit that happens to you good or bad comes with the sole intention of creating transforming turning you into that person, that very special person, you were meant to be. By God's design.”

Yeah, by God's design. When everything else fails, He comes to the rescue. But ...also He designed everything tailor-made to fit you and your uniqueness and temperament. All is for the purpose to complete the huge tapestry of life --- your life. Hard to understand that sometimes. But it will be for your well being to learn to.

(This is a re-post from several years ago. A good friend needs to see this... requested it.)