Giving Gives Back

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: SHI

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

 

 

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

Stacey Fujimura
zingbars.com

Sweet Tweets Everyone!

Bring Love Into Your Life

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

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 unloving 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!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

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.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

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.

 

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

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

kathy ireland for Brodie Cashmere Collection

Kathy Ireland continues to amaze me. Have you seen her latest extraordinary product line? kathy ireland for Brodie Cashmere Collection:

ki Brodie Magic Sizzle reel from Milestone Venture Productions

Cashmere is a precious fiber and obtained from a certain species of goat, the Kashmir goat. As rare as it is, the most beautiful and prestigious cashmere comes from the highlands of Inner Mongolia which is the second largest cashmere producing country in the world. Cashmere is harvested from the Kashmir goats during their molting season through the shedding. The winters are very harsh in Mongolia. To keep warm, the Kashmir goats need two layered coats; one superficial and one consisting of very fine soft fiber, the duvet. The duvet, as known as “soft gold” and “diamond fiber”, makes the real cashmere.

I am delighted to know that Kathy Ireland’s new product line “kathy ireland for Brodie Cashmere Collection” is made of the finest, longest and softest cashmere fiber from Mongolia.

Look for stunning kathy ireland Cashmere Fashion at the stores soon. A luxury garment you should have!

Treat your Cashmere, this precious fabric with extra care as you would treat your diamonds and practice mindfulness.

Enjoy the dance of life!

“To be wronged is nothing…unless you continue to remember it.” ~Confucius

One of my social and team management strengths is observation. This skill helps me in Social Media.

I feel fortunate to be able to see the good in others. As I often tweet, I don’t look for the good in others, I SEE the good in others. This doesn’t mean that I’ve always been good in trusting my intuition.

Good and bad are part of Social Media just like everything else in life and can’t be avoided. Instead of going against the grain of social media and exhausting ourselves by abandoning our presence, we can see trolls, impostors and negative people as part of a social media cycle. I am aware who they are and what they do behind the scenes. It may take a while yet people reveal themselves sooner or later. I am blessed with a big heart, excellent memory and intuition. I’ve learned that trusting my intuition is very important in social media relationships.

We can all tweet and blog about love, kindness, honesty, forgiveness and karma. However, our actions speak louder than words. Voicing your ideals is fine, but do your actions contradict those ideals? We are what we consistently do, not what we preach. I am a firm believer of universal justice. What we send out, comes back. What we see in others, exists in us.

“Do not do to others that which angers you when they do it to you.” ~Isocrates

Life is full of misfortune; famine, flood, drought, earthquake, corruption, invasion, loneliness and FEAR. Disasters hit us without warning. People are starving and dying in wars around the globe. Family members and close friends can be abusive and exploit one another. Hard work is often rewarded with pennies and betrayal. Despite our wealth of information, ignorance prevails. Money in the wrong hands can be destructive and corrupt. Homelessness is ever present in growing rates. Many people live from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t understand life without embracing misfortune. We must find a way out of the dark and into the light. We can seek our own light which is the source of our power. As the sun shines for everyone, we can shine and let the light of good shine upon us all, even though life can be painful. We need patience and we need to know our purpose and where we’re going.

Along our social media journey, we meet and will meet many people. We meet people who see the good in us and we meet people who are distrustful, jealous and envious. Evil is inevitable. During encounters, the wisest people are careful to avoid confrontations. Restraint is best. Whenever possible avoid toxic people. Make your Social Media encounters as positive as possible.

Everything we tweet, provokes a reaction. Conflict is inevitable. Be sparing and cautious in your reaction. Take a deep breath and count to ten before responding. Remember, Anger is temporary “reaction”. Just imagine the endless Direct Message or tweet exchange if you indeed choose to respond. In this way, you can avoid excess and meaningless conversation. It’s useless to argue. Know when to advance and when to retreat. Don’t slay others with careless words.

“The superior man is slow in his words and earnest in his conduct.” ~Confucius

Social Media friends come and go as the seasons come and go. The ones who stay are your true friends. Loyalty is the foundation of a true friendship. If things are not going your way, be quick to adapt. When your Social Media experience is filled with adversity and everything seems to be against you, remember your goals, your purpose. There will be days you will be disappointed and feel sadness, which is part of being human. When we experience sadness, we have to accept it. All emotions we feel are part of our life. We haven’t learned them. We have inherited them. We control our emotions, our emotions don’t control us. Every emotion has a function and they all contribute to actions and play a role in our life.

Everything that happens in life involves choices. The choices we make change our life. Setbacks are temporary, they become permanent only because we allowed them to be. Change is scary but necessary to move forward. After all, you learn who you are by the toughest of trials in life.

What we have on the inside cannot be taken away nor destroyed by others. Just be bold and be your best self. Don’t yield to trolls. The depths of our character are revealed upon trials in life.

To care for others is to look after them. Help and support your friends, not because you will get something in return. But because it is part of who you are. First, quiet the voices of selfishness and self-gain. Don’t use words such as ‘love’ carelessly. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Think before you speak, as a word once spoken, cannot be retracted. The same is true in Social Media. When you give your word, keep it and mean everything you say. You can only develop sincerity, when you are responsible for your words and actions. Keep in mind that sincerity is not something you can pretend to have. Sincerity comes from your integrity. Be authentic!

We have a lot to learn from bees. Bees don’t compete, they work with humility and towards a common benefit. They are persistent and focused. They lead a life of selflessness and do whatever is necessary to build a happy “community”.

We all aspire to have wisdom. I believe the seeds of wisdom are planted much earlier in life than during mature adulthood. I also believe wisdom grows out of an exposure to adversity early in life. Wisdom is insightful living. So, just because someone is older, doesn’t necessarily mean he/she is wiser. In fact, some of my wisest loving friends are very young.

Animals whose hoofs are hardened on rough ground can travel any road.” ~Seneca

When you’re in Social Media, Let go of ego. When we recognize in others the same human condition we experience, we are on the verge of knowing ourselves. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Life shouldn’t be taken too seriously and perfection shouldn’t be a goal.

Enjoy the dance of life!

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Gift Giving

Once I was shopping in a designer store, a petite woman in front of me, was trying to do an exchange. She claimed she received the blouse as a gift and her friend who gifted her, had told her that she could exchange the blouse to her desired size in that particular store. I couldn’t help but follow the conversation between her and the woman at the register as they were talking loudly.

Now, here is the funny part: the blouse looked as big as size 16 and the woman’s size couldn’t be larger than 8. The sales associate at the register told the woman that she couldn’t proceed with an exchange because the item was not purchased in that store (possibly an outlet, where all sales are final). The customer was not very happy as she was leaving the store. Was the unhappiness due to the fact that her friend didn’t have any idea about her size, not even close or was it because she couldn’t exchange the wrong sized item?

I have a pretty good eye for size. I can buy gifts for my loved ones living in distance, just by looking at their pics and they would fit perfectly.

When you give a personal gift, such as clothes, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have an approximate idea of size? Or not give at all and buy another gift, something that can be treasured without going through the hustle and bustle of exchanges. We should also remember all hard working sales people in the stores, who are heavily burdened during the hectic holiday hours. I must admit sometimes I think the sales people are angels with utmost patience as some customers can be so unreasonable.

When we give gifts, wouldn’t it be wonderful to give them with love and not just for the sake of giving a gift?

We shouldn’t consume in the name of love. We should be creative and thoughtful in the name of gift giving.

 

                                               PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Poor Service + Bad Coffee = No Thanks!

Every decision we make is emotionally based. We make friends because it’s the inner bond that draws us together, not the words spoken. We purchase a product because it brings us some level of joy.

I had a bizarre, actually two bizarre experiences lately. Some people would call me a coffee snob. I don’t drink much coffee outside my home but when I do, I like to visit my favorite coffee houses. I am not going to name them here and only call them coffee house A and B. Two weeks ago, as I was waiting for my husband to finish his workday, I popped in coffee house A. I drink black, bold, strong coffee. I ordered a cup and before that I asked if the coffee was freshly brewed. The guy at the counter shook his head, nodding as to assure me it was fresh. I sat down, started playing with my iPad and I am sure I would have spit it out if it was not for my new iPad. The coffee was awful. Not only it was not strong, it was at least a couple of hours old coffee. When I told the guy at the register, he just looked at me as if there was nothing he could do.

My second experience in my other favorite coffee house B was quite similar. At this time, I was certain that those who worked at both coffee houses, simply didn’t care whether the customer was content or they were simply saving money for their employer.

One morning, I stopped at another coffee house (which I will call here, coffee house C). There were two smiling, enthusiastic girls behind the counter. I told them that I wanted a cup of fresh, bold, strong coffee. One of them assured me that they would brew new coffee for me. Both were upbeat and very welcoming. Now, this coffee house C is not my favorite coffee place yet I loved the coffee there that morning. Great customer service should never be underestimated. It’s what keeps us coming back.

Next time, when I want to have a cup of coffee, I am heading to coffee house C. I still remember those two girls’ kind smiling faces.

I know now that I prefer coffee with kindness.

PHOTO CREDIT: SHI

Mayor Cory Booker ~ Food stamp challenge

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” ~Albert Einstein

Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker is helping to create the spiritual revolution. Today, Mr. Booker started the food stamp Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) challenge, A Movement Toward Food Justice!

For one entire week, he’ll be living on $30 of groceries to raise awareness about how challenging it is to live on food stamps.

This afternoon, the Newark Mayor tweeted his #SNAPchallenge food for the week:


Note: NO Coffee

Mr.Booker who is a vegetarian, continues to inspire us all.

Watch this video to learn the #SNAPchallenge guidelines:

Follow Cory Booker on Twitter
Connect with Cory Booker on Facebook