Remembering Robin Williams

“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” ~José N. Harris

It’s natural to feel sad when someone close to us dies.
To feel a great sense of loss when someone whom you have never met dies, makes that person very special.

Monday afternoon, I got online to check some news. I can’t explain the shock I felt. I was totally stunned and really hoped it was a hoax.
How could Robin Williams be gone? I got on Twitter in tears. Sadly, it wasn’t a hoax. The world’s most beloved comedian, talented actor and beautiful human being, the genius Robin Williams passed away. I was heartbroken.

Like the rest of the world, I am completely devastated. His gifts to us span four decades. From the stage as a stand up comedian to actor of the big and small screen, he was insightful and brilliant. He was Mork in Mork & Mindy, the Radio Jock in Good Morning Vietnam, the Professor in Good Will Hunting, the Genie in Aladdin, Peter Pan in Hook and Mrs. Doubtfire plus many others. His role as an English teacher in Dead Poets Society still inspires people to become teachers.

I have never seen such an outpouring of love and support from friends, adoring fans and the media. The tributes coming in from family, friends and fans only confirm what we already knew. He was a gentle and generous soul. He was kind to all.

Robin Williams has a special place in our hearts. He was the world’s honorary uncle. His immeasurable talent(s) touched something deep inside of us. That is what true artists do.

My heart aches for his family and friends. I hope the media including the social media will allow them to mourn and grieve in peace.

We hope you have found the peace and laughter you gave to us all.
Gone from this world yet never forgotten.
Farewell, yet not goodbye.
We will miss you, Uncle Robin.

Here are little pearls of wisdom from Robin Williams: 50 great quotes

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world!” ~Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society

Mork’s First Christmas – Robin Williams and Morgan Fairchild

Are our electronics messing with how birds navigate?

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” ―J.M. Barrie

I love birds. If you ask me: “What would you like to be reincarnated as?”
My answer would be: I would love to come back as a bird. I would fly anywhere, high, far and wide to explore new places.

The majority of the bird species are migratory. They migrate either for food or new nesting locations. Escaping the cold is another factor yet birds and even hummingbirds can withstand freezing temperatures as long they have enough food supply.

Birds can travel several thousand miles annually. They often travel the same course year after year. They have excellent navigational skills and homing instinct which allows them to always return to the same area. They may migrate halfway around the world yet they will always return home. Many explanations about their navigational skills have been proposed throughout the years. Whether it’s their sense of smell, their ability to use the earth’s magnetic field or the internal compass that guides birds to migrate brilliantly, birds are absolutely fascinating. One thing is certain that they are highly sensitive to certain frequencies.

The article “Radio Signals Skew Birds’ Internal Navigation“ says:
“Migrating birds may lose their way when exposed to the electromagnetic noise from radio signals and electronic devices, researchers have found.”

While we humans enjoy tweeting and face-booking, our electronics are messing with how birds navigate. It’s frightening that the signals of our cities could be disrupting the bird migration (electromagnetic fields from electronics such as computers, printers, refrigerators).

Although there is no definitive scientific proof that humans are affected by electromagnetic noise, more research is needed to disregard the health effects (and the phrase: “technology makes me sick”).

More on the subject:
Man-Made Electromagnetic Noise Disrupts a Bird’s Compass

https://twitter.com/LovinShmay
PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE ~ Food For Thought

PERSONAL INTELLIGENCE ~ What does it mean?

John D. Mayer, PhD defines personal intelligence as “the capacity to reason about personality and to use personality and personal information to enhance one’s thoughts, plans, and life experience.”

Personal intelligence is simply the ability to understand ourselves and know who we are. People who possess personal intelligence have a better foundation to evaluate others as well as acknowledging their own flaws and limitations. If you possess personal intelligence, you’ll have a better understanding of other people’s behavior. You also have a pretty good idea how others perceive you.

Of course, our perception of people is different than who they actually are. Personal intelligence is the key to distinguish between them.

If you believe you already know the answer, you will not be able to judge the evidence objectively. Instead you will accept the evidence that supports the opinion you already hold. If you are an employer, you’ll most likely hire someone you are attracted to before even viewing the candidate’s resume and professional skills because you’ll perceive the candidate in a positive light. And if you don’t like the candidate at first sight, you’ll reject him or her because you’ve perceived them in a negative light. Both can have unpleasant consequences. Our perceptions determine our own reality. It all depends on how we choose to perceive.

Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t an easy thing to do.

John D. Mayer, PhD says: “Personal intelligence allows to see ourselves and others with greater fidelity – and this fidelity includes an understanding of our own fallibility. Seeing ourselves clearly isn’t always easy. Information about who we are is “hot” and emotionally charged – that heat can warm or scald us. We may focus on a personal flaw so much that we lose perspective on the broader contours of life. Its easy to turn away at times, and indeed, we all do. Yet if we work over time to learn a bit about ourselves we may become more accurate at self-understanding and this, in turn, can help us change for the better. Because although many aspects of our personalities persist over time, there is also opportunity for change.”

Human beings must try to acknowledge their errors (errors that may harm others) if they really want to improve themselves. This also applies to those who like to play the victim and lash out at others (including those who try to help them). They live in fear, bombarded by painful memories that they now regret. They should acknowledge that humans are fallible (including themselves) instead of targeting and harming innocent people.

“There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated.” ~Peace Pilgrim

The answer is honest self reflection. That person you see in the mirror is the only one responsible for your negative state of mind. Hate only breeds more hate. It’s a downward spiral of self destruction. It’s never too late to change, to become a better human being.

The way we treat others is a reflection of our souls.
Karma is real and it will visit you in the manner you deserve.

Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. Begin now!

https://twitter.com/LovinShmay
PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

“This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” ~Peace Pilgrim

Bee a Righty

In the end, I’m not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give. ~Cory Booker

Today, I read a very interesting article: “Honeybees use right antennae to tell friend from foe”

Researchers reveal that sensory neuron asymmetry affects how bees navigate social situations. It appears that honeybees use their right antenna to distinguish between friends and intruders.

The new study shows that honeybees with only a right antenna recognize and behave in a heartfelt way toward each other. When honeybees interact solely with their right antennas, they are more sociable, positive and interact with each other more cordially. Yet honeybees with only a left antenna go on the attack, even though they are hive-mates. In other words, when they have only their left antennas, they will more likely respond in an aggressive and negative way.

The same study suggests that the bees’ brains are wired asymmetrically, as are human brains. The right and left sides of the bees’ brains seem to perform different functions, like humans’ brains. This new study implies that brain asymmetry isn’t a uniquely human phenomenon after all.

A honeybee’s brain contains only 960,000 neurons whereas an average human brain contains 86 billion neurons. This just shows how extraordinary honeybees are. They are extremely smart. They use their right antennas to navigate complex social situations.

bee and daisy

PHOTO CREDIT: Bees Hive

We humans have a lot to learn from the honeybees.

I bet honeybees would be more civilized in social media. Some people in social media seem to be always on attack mode, whether they do it in public or behind the scenes. They seem to use their left antennas only. Celebrities and those who are friends with celebrities are prone to some ugly aggressive behaviors by others. Low self-esteem, insecurity and a fear-dominated mind-set must have have damaged their ability to use the right antenna.

I am right-brained. I prefer to use my right antenna and I always did. It has always served me well. Just like honeybees, the right antenna is indeed my caller-ID. I can see the difference between authentic and fake friends (those who pretend to be friends). I can distinguish between someone who is sincere and who isn’t. However, I always treat everyone with respect, no matter what.

I wish everyone could use their right antenna. It will always serve well both in personal and professional relationships. But if you can’t use your right antenna, at least be a good listener.

One way to break out of a negative mind-set is to identify the behaviors linked to your fears and try to find out which fears are motivating your decisions (that are ultimately damaging you).

Our actions are always echoed back to us. Choose kindness. If you can’t help people, at least don’t hurt them.

Utilize your right antenna. It can transform your life.

https://twitter.com/LovinShmay

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom. When a man reaches an absolutely silent state, he roars like a lion.” ~Osho

Cherish Each Day

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” ~Aboriginal Proverb

WELCOME PIC

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

It’s basic human nature that we take things for granted. Wisdom does not come easy. I believe we find wisdom in different ways created by our unique journeys in life. From personal experience, I know that we gain wisdom from hardships. Hardships create awareness and spiritual awakening.

I was profoundly touched by an email that a very dear friend sent me last week. Her loved one is battling a deadly disease. Tears were running down my face as I read her email.

For every living soul, our ultimate destination is the same. We may take different paths in this life yet we will arrive at exactly the same place.  

Our greatest power in life is to be able to see the special things in the present moment. I believe when humans face the reality of death, they’re more able to honor the people that they have taken for granted.

We get so distracted by our everyday routines that we don’t see the special things around us such as spending some quality time with our loved ones. If we go away for a few days, we miss them. It seems to me that as humans we are more capable of appreciating the people in our lives when separated from them or when we’re about to lose them.

Most people know about “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch.

Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006. His last lecture in 2007 was wisdom about the life he wished to leave to his family and students. Since then millions throughout the world have been touched by his wisdom, including me. His lecture wasn’t about leaving this earth, but rather the importance of seizing every day and living in the present moment.

“Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.” ~Randy Pausch

As we gain wisdom, I believe we’re also learning not to be afraid of death. This is probably the ultimate wisdom. I believe when we face the prospect of dying, we’re liberated. We see everything more clearly. We don’t take anything for granted anymore. We become selfless and self-improved. We honor the special things of the present moment and people who deserve our attention.

During her eulogy to Steve Jobs, his sister Mona Simpson revealed that his final words were: “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW”

Is it possible to embrace the mystery of death?
I certainly believe it is. By embracing death, we die with ease, grace and wisdom.

Somewhere in outer space, the sun shines continuously, as does our soul. The soul will return from where it came and live in eternity.

Life and death are not two, but one.

Cherish each day. Live life fully!



Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. ~Randy Pausch

SUNFLOWER

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

Giving Gives Back

https://twitter.com/maggietranquila

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.~ Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Everything on our planet has a purpose. Our lives have a purpose.

I’ve discovered that natural givers are always happy, no matter what.

My husband and I lead a simple life. However, we’re both generous people which is the building block in our relationship. We both enjoy helping whenever and however we can.

Yesterday, I was a little tired due to just a few hours sleep yet something profound happened which gave me such energy and filled my heart with joy. Something which made me think how our lives should be about giving and reaching out to others. We donated an item to a kind soul. When this kind soul reciprocated our act of giving with the utmost kindness, my entire being was, once again, filled with the most powerful fuel: LOVE.
I noticed my husband’s joy as well.

“Giving becomes more important than getting because giving is in alignment with your purpose.” ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Givers are always the miracle workers. When we focus on giving as our life purpose, we seem to receive more. It’s all about unconditional giving, with no expectations in return. If you do this, you’ve aligned yourself with the universe. You’re a miracle worker and more will come your way. Believe it!

Giving gives back. It fuels the universe.

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinsonhttps://twitter.com/maggietranquila

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

Social Media Friendships

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ~Jane Austen

Social media has changed the way we communicate and connect with the rest of the world. The profound impact Social Media has had on our lives, is evident (News, Learning, Interaction, Political Awareness, Activism, Marketing).

I love my Social Media connections and do my best to focus on true friends.

If you have good friends, no matter how difficult life can be, they can brighten your day.

A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth. ~Charles Darwin

Social Networking giant, Twitter, is still my favorite Social Media Channel. I’ve met people from all over the world and age groups.

Some say social media friendships are not real unless you meet in person. I respectfully disagree. Like everything else in life, it depends entirely on the efforts people make.

I consider it a great privilege to have loyal friends. Some Twitter friends have been kind enough to send me gifts.

I received a beautiful greeting card featuring the artwork of the talented artist Baret Boisson.

Fashion Designer George Zaharoff gifted me with a beautiful framed quote
“I invoke positives” in the form of a fabric label. This and other inspirational quotes were selected by George to be sewn into his clothing line.
Also pictured, Zaharoff pour Homme for my husband.

I received some beautiful scented candles from Kathy Ireland. Please also see my earlier blog post: Lite a candle.

STRAWBERRYSHORTCAKE

I received two beautiful Nike agenda books from the fabulous Christina Yow, one for me and one for my husband.

NIKE

The nutritious Zing Bars that I received from the lovely Stacey Fujimura, were absolutely delicious.

Thank you for your generous gifts.
I cherish your kind and loving friendships.

You can follow them on Twitter:

Baret Boisson
baretboissonart.com

George Zaharoff
zaharoff.com

Kathy Ireland
kathyireland.com

Christina Yow
krystynnsg.tumblr.com

Stacey Fujimura
zingbars.com

Sweet Tweets Everyone!

CASA TRANQUILA

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

Bring Love Into Your Life

“We are star stuff and our destiny lies in our origins.” ~Carl Sagan

https://twitter.com/LovinShmay

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon May

Many people equate love with (romantic) relationships. No wonder many are disappointed when they don’t find the love they’re seeking outside themselves. The same with happiness. The joy of being and happiness cannot come to us through possession, achievement, people or anything. It emanates from within us. The greater love is what we have inside.

Unconditional love is the ultimate divine source. This is the basis of oneness. All things derive from one source. We are all connected in the universe. We are all related to one another. The divine source accepts all beings unconditionally. How can we then not accept all beings as they are? When we are ruled by the power of ego/fear to separate and reject, we don’t. We can only acknowledge all beings as they are when we accept the conscious unconditional love. Love gives us energy and guides us. Fear distracts us and ultimately destroys us. Our greatest power is the acceptance and appreciation of the power of love we have inside us.

“A friend” who wronged me in unspeakable ways, was a sad image in my mind for a while. Perhaps it was more like a shock coming from someone who identified themselves as being a spiritual person. It didn’t matter how unlovingly they behaved and what they said over the months, I remained non reactive. Because I knew that their unloving behavior was derived from fear. Fear is an illusion created by the ego. It’s my understanding that people who suffer from (past) guilty emotions exhibit what I would like to call a “social hallucination”. When people behave in cruel ways, they’ve forgotten that their true power “Love” resides within them. They let their ego (Fear) control their thoughts and emotions. All we can do is keep them in our own (Positive) light hoping that they will return to their true power. Compassion is the most important thing in the world and essential for our survival.

“When they cast you into darkness, love them for helping you discover your inextinguishable light.” ~Cory Booker

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini touched my soul deeply and I highly recommend it. The heart of the novel is unconditional love.

If you feel love, it will convert into positive energy.
If you feel miserable/sad/envious, it will convert into negative energy.
It’s as simple as that.

All flowers, plants and trees are beautiful, though they are different. We shouldn’t strive to be better than others. Why do we have to compete? Nature doesn’t. We are all unique in our own way. Like Kathy Ireland says: “Beauty comes in all ages, colors, shapes, and forms. God never makes junk.”

Finally, a great reminder:

“The softest of all things overrides the hardest of all things” (Chapter 43 of the Tao Te Ching).

Bring Love Into Your Life!

Maggie's Roses

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson


Keep it positive

“Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.” ~Bruce Lee

I’ve observed three main character traits that I believe are self-destructive in social networking and building relationships.

1. Cynicism
Cynics are known as suspicious, paranoid and mistrustful of others. Scientists categorize this character trait as hostility. Cynics are not necessarily bad people. They read into people’s behaviors, calling it a gut instinct and being suspicious of even a kind gesture.

Where does all this suspicion stem from? It stems from being paranoid and mistrustful of others and has deep roots in their past experiences. I’ve learned that those with low self-esteem (disguised as confident people) display this character trait.  

2. Lack of self-control:

Some people react to every possible tweet, post and they over-analyze. Some others get angry if they don’t receive a response or if they receive a response that differs from their point of view. Then, they go into the attack mode. They say words that they will regret later, which is unfortunately too late. Most feel ashamed of it but their ego won’t allow them to apologize.

Restraint is very important for online relationships as well as in real life. However, unlike real life, what you say online is forever. Don’t think that those private messages, phone calls, Google hang outs or Skype chats are private.

3. Envy, Jealousy and Gossip

Unfortunately, some people, especially women seem to be driven by envy and jealousy. Some of them go as far as telling lies, gossiping and spreading rumors. Lack of purpose in their lives is perhaps the main reason for such viciousness. It’s self destructive and destroy others who are subjected to bullying. It hurts all parties yet mostly the person who is doing it. Yes, I do believe in Karma.

When you tweet: “Be Kind, Be Real”, extend it outside twitter and apply it in your life. Your words have little meaning if your actions contradict them.

Some friends ask me how I remain positive no matter what happens. I’ve learned that positivity depends vitally how I think. Just like life, positivity is fragile. Take a moment to notice your surroundings in social media and ask yourself: How does social media benefit me and others? What is going right for me here?

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”~Carl Sagan

Think of positivity like a beautiful color palette; love, joy, serenity, hope, inspiration, interest, gratitude and awe.

If your social media experience doesn’t seem to serve you well, maybe you weigh it down with self-doubt and cynicism. Be open. Be sincere. Be grateful. Be appreciative. Thinking in this manner can ignite positivity and puts a smile on your face. Be sure to take a few moments each day, to reply and interact with your friends. Positivity broadens our minds and outlook. Positivity enables us to attract people whom we mutually benefit from and helps us see unlimited possibilities around us. It makes us stronger to cope with adversity.

Positivity can change your life and it can change your communities. It can create a more compassionate and harmonic community.

More than once, I’ve been asked this question: How do I deal with rude and negative people? My mind doesn’t embrace combat and war like tactics. My mind simply thinks of peace. I don’t de-humanize people who wronged me as my enemies. I rather think of them as unfortunate small-minded people with big egos who are suffering and lashing out. In my thoughts I extend them love and compassion. Even though they tried to harm me, I still find qualities about them that I can appreciate. Their negativity belongs to them, not me. Last but not least, I see them as teachers in disguise. I’ve experienced this in the past year. I still came out ahead so can you. You can disarm the negativity.

“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.” ~Bruce Lee

Kindness and positivity nurture each other. In my experience, kind people are focused on how they can make a difference and how they can lend a hand. By boosting kindness, we also increase our positivity. We are more compassionate towards others even under adverse circumstances. By helping others you will help yourself. I haven’t met anyone who reached his or her potential by themselves. Connect with others. You’ll notice an increased positivity and in turn will attract positivity. So interact with others everyday no matter what. Open your heart and mind.

MaggiePhoto4

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson

Vanishing of the Bees

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
~Chief Seattle

It’s heartbreaking that the decline of the Honey Bee population continues.

When the bees are in trouble, humans are in trouble. The global population of humans is growing. The production of sufficient amounts of food is already getting more difficult due to global climate changes.

One of nature’s primary pollinators, the honey bees, have tremendous value to us humans.

“The hidden beauty of pollination”

Scientists believe that, even at introduced low levels, the chemicals used in pesticides cause neurological damage to insects, affecting their learning ability and breeding.

There is no doubt that insecticides/pesticides are harming the bee colonies but also affect the quality of the planting soil and local water supply.

Dan Rather has explored the Bee Collapse/Pesticide Connection in 2011.

Organic farmers are able to farm without using harmful insecticides like neonicotinoids. So, the big question is that why not everyone is following the organic farmers’ example?

We’re all connected. The harm humans do to bees, they do to themselves.

We can no longer keep quiet about this.

BEE

Highly recommended articles:

Ban pesticides linked to bee deaths, say MPs

BEE AWARE

Pesticides killing bees in millions

Bees to EPA: Where’s your sting?

Neonicotinoid pesticides ‘damage brains of bees’

What is the value of bees?

Not Just the Bees: Bayer’s Pesticide May Harm Birds, Too

Climate Change, Herbicide May Doom Monarch Butterfly Migration

Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say

Butterflies suffer devastating year after UK’s wet summer
MAGGIE'S MOST BEAUTIFUL ROSE

PHOTO CREDIT: Maggie Rawlinson