Countdown to 2018 – Gratitude Doodles – #1 Grad to Pro

Less than 50 days.

2018.

Before make resolutions and celebrate the new year, let’s make a gratitude list of 2017.

Top of my list.

My daughter will finish university this year and step into a new phase of her life.

I am thankful that her hard work has been rewarded.

That she is a down to earth young woman.

That she has found new passions and overcome challenges in this past year.

That she has emerged a champion and a young Wonder Woman.

I drew a doodle of how I imagine her as a YO-PRO!

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A Thousand Oceans

Your eyes carry the weight of a thousand oceans

and the echo of the universe

I promise you…

That you will be happy again.

~ My Persian Poet ~

I have written these words down where I can see them everyday.

Books

I went to the bookstore again today.

Came home with three books.

My purpose there was not just to purchase books.

I also went to have a coffee today.

Drank a lovely little cup of coffee.

My purpose there was not just to drink coffee.

I went and did a bunch of things today.

Accomplished several tasks and errands.

But my purpose was not to complete tasks and run errands.

Source of all misery and also the source of peace…

When we focus our thoughts on the past, we have two choices.
We can be grateful for what happened.
Or we can be filled with resentment, and wonder “Why me?”

When we focus our thoughts on the future, we also have two choices.
We can be filled with wonder and curiosity.
Excited to see what the future holds.
Or we can be filled with anxiety, worrying about what could go wrong.
And again, wonder, “Why me?”

When we focus our thoughts on the now, we live in the moment.
It is what it is, and we are here, in the now, and nowhere else.
To be entirely present, we look at ourselves in peace.
We stop comparing ourselves, stop feeling that we are not enough.
We have gratitude and appreciation.
Because we cannot change the past, and we cannot control the future.

Our perception is the source of all misery, and the source of peace.

Easier said than done.
Practice, practice, practice.

I failed…

I failed to see your pain.
I was too busy with my own.

I failed to feel your struggle.
I was too busy with my own.

I failed to see things through your eyes.
I was too busy with my own.

I failed to understand you.
I was too busy trying to understand myself.

The Beauty of Pain

Our natural instinct is to avoid pain.
When we feel pain, we find ways to distract ourselves.
We suppress the feeling by scrolling through our phones, checking our messages and looking at other people's pains.

Then the pain just grows.
It builds up, it spreads like moss.
Till nothing is beautiful anymore, and our lives are but a puzzle of anxieties, dreads and unrequited love.

When people exercise they advocate "feel the pain and do it anyway".
The same goes in life.

We need to surrender.
Let it wash over us.
Feel every molecule of pain writhe through our bodies and squeeze your heart dry.

Only then will the pain begin to fade.
And you let other feelings in.
At first it is all bit numb. Then you start to feel your toes again.
And then you wriggle your feet.
And you get up.
And you start all over again.

Speak Lotuses, Not Mud

When you open your mouth, what comes out?
Mud? Filth? Negativity?
Useless comments?
Meaningless uttering?

Or lotuses?
Beautiful flowers that rise from the mud?
Generous praises and kind words?
Appreciation and thankfulness?

This stoic reminder is so simple, but so hard to do.
I like to imagine what spills from my mouth so that I do not speak words in hate, anger or frustration.
It is a daily practice that I do not often succeed at.

Pineapple

I often ask people, if you were a fruit, what would you be?

In a previous (actually rather long ago now…) post, I said I’d be a grape.

Soft on the outside, but my core is tiny yet tough, almost unbreakable.

Pineapples on the other hand, are rough on the outside, sweet on the inside.

They stand tall and wear a beautiful crown.

This post is dedicated to my daughter, who has a fondness for pineapples.

In spite of it all… Stand tall!

Some days, you just have to choose.

Choose to stand tall.

Choose to smile.

And while you’re at it, sit tall as well.

You will feel instantly better in spite of it all!

(You can see the “concept” drawing of this post on my YouTube Channel at Stand Tall.)

Not So Little Things…(with a longish story attached)

Last week I was thankful for tiny little things like jalapeños.

This week I’d like to appreciate my washing machine.

Not just for washing my clothes, but for reminding me to “do all things with love”.

There’s a story behind this.

There was a time when I was one miserable human being who felt that she had no purpose in life.

I was always tired and had very little motivation to do anything at all.

And like a lot of lost souls, I tried to find solace in whatever was available.

Books, books and more books.

Then I became desperate, realising that I was not getting any answers out of books.

One day a friend suggested that I go and check out a “Wellness Centre” that had everything from yoga, tarot cards to spiritual healing. I was willing to give anything a try, even Ouja Boards if they had some. Problem was, I didn’t have any spare cash to spend on something I considered “frivoulous”.

I went anyway. There were different people who had set up different stalls and corners offering art therapy and various types of readings. I kept a distance, close enough to be nosey and far enough that I did not make eye contact with anyone.

“Hello!”

The voice and tone sounded so warm and familiar that it made me stop and turn around.

It was an older lady behind a table covered with dozens of small vials of what I could only describe as coloured liquid. The moment I turned around she handed me a small basket and said, “Pick three!”

“I can’t afford this.”

“It’s OK, you need this. It’s free.” 

My logical mind was convinced that this sweet older lady with a German accent wanted to swindle me, but my emotional mind was so sad and desperate that when she said “you need this” I agreed wholeheartedly.

I don’t remember what bottles I chose and what their meanings were, but I just remember the lady telling me that I had one purpose here on earth – to learn to love. 

It scared me that she told me something that I had been struggling to figure out, but my logical mind of course wanted to challenge that.

“And how do I that?”

“Simple. Do all things with love. For example, when you do the laundry, do it with love. Fold your child’s clothes with love and appreciate how lovely it is to have a small child and to be able to give her clean clothes to wear.”

“I appreciate having a washing machine too, I don’t need to wash everything by hand.”

“Exactly! Just do this, and watch how everything changes. Your happiness will come when you learn to love.”

I went home that day and did what she suggested. It was not an instant fix. I am still learning to “do all things with love” and there are days when I have doubts, but I know that happiness is no longer elusive and my happiest moments are always the ones when I am doing things with love.

And that is why, I appreciate my washing machine. 

  
P.S. I never got a chance to thank this older lady for what she has given me. A chance and a way to find happiness. So every chance I have to share this with someone who’d listen, I see it as a way to pay her back for all the happiness that has come my way.

Thank you.