Lavender Feilds

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Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain

img_9311Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about.  Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.

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Here are some other ways to live a positive life

  1. Spend time getting to know yourself
  2. Appreciate what you have
  3. Accept and love yourself 
  4. See the positive in every situation
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Travel to new places
  7. Stop worrying about the future
  8. Spend quality alone time with your spouse
  9. Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
  10. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
  11. Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
  12. Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
  13. Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
  14. Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
  15. Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
  16. Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
  17. Forgive, love and let go
  18. Stay away from negative people
  19. Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
  20. Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray

In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle

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Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.

 

Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

Kindness

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Persian nights, sharing food, friendship and tradition. How delightful and delicious it is to be together with loved ones in peace, laughter and harmony.

To our hostess,

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.

-Rumi

You Are Magnificent!

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You are not your stories, you are not your past!

You are a magnificent being with unlimited potential.

imageEverything in life, good or bad, happens to bring you into something greater.

Love and embrace yourself for who you are.

Be present and available for every experience in your life.

-Panache Desai, Spiritual Teacher

 

Expectations

In life we have a lot of expectations. We expect to grow up and find the perfect job. We expect to meet the right person, get married, have children and live happily ever after. We expect to have certain friends in our lives forever. We expect to be able to change people. We expect people to love as we do, to have the same heart as we do. We expect too much.edc7092b092876388276cb81f3fe89d5I’ve learned that expectations lead to disappointments. It’s a heartbreaking experience. Instead of expecting life to go a certain way, it’s better to live in what’s happening. Take every disappointment as a lesson learned. It teaches you something about the person involved or even about yourself. Expect nothing and appreciate everything in life. Sometimes the most difficult lessons to learn are the ones you need to learn the most. It may surprise you and force you to move in the direction that will bring you happiness.

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So be at peace, expect nothing, appreciate everything and live the life that you want. No exceptions!

Girl Power

They are the apple of our eye, our sweet little girls. My child and most of her friends have now reached double digits. They are no longer little girls, soon they will blossom into lovely young ladies.IMG_8228It’s our job to empower them to grow up feeling secure in themselves. Powerful girls learn to take action, making positive choices about their own lives and doing positive things for others. Here are some ways that many parenting experts say will help us raise powerful girls….IMG_8267_peEncourage her to pursue a passion.IMG_8263Let her have a voice in making decisions.IMG_8302Let her solve issues on her own rather than fixing things for her.IMG_8353Encourage her to go beyond her comfort zone, to take physical risksIMG_8374_peEncourage your daughter to participate in team-building activities or join organizations that rely on teamwork.

Be honest with her.IMG_8524 Give her time to just play!

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Having close friends that are like-minded and most importantly kind is an important part of her growing up. Help them foster positive, loving relationships. IMG_8578_peLet her know you love her because of who she is, not because of what she weighs or how she looks.

IMG_8283.Allow her to disagree.IMG_8621_peMake time to listen to her on a regular basis.IMG_8402Listen more, talk less.IMG_8231Limit your daughter’s exposure to the media and popular culture.IMG_8635_peTalk with her about her body and sex in ways appropriate to her age and your values. Yes, it’s really time to do that!IMG_8334_peKeep her active.

Be the person you want her to be. Love yourself so that she can love herself too.IMG_8242Help foster and flourish her relationships with a powerful women in your family, like an aunt or grandmother.IMG_8277_peMost importantly, don’t forget to stop and really enjoy this special time with them. Enjoy them!

The Power of Positive Strength

 

A much-anticipated makeover from the good folks at Essa Salon for my wonderful friend.

This is a strong beautiful woman at the end of a difficult fight with cancer. She is an example of what strength, dignity and the power of positive thinking looks like. She is my friend and my inspiration. Today and everyday I celebrate the power of strong beautiful women. It’s just a day in the life of many women I am blessed to know and love.

 

Double Digits!

 

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My little girl is has officially entered double digits. I can’t believe she is ten years old! Since I’ve had my daughter I have made the choice of being a stay at home mother. I feel blessed to be able to be there for my child. I am able to be at every important function and witness every phase. I was there for her first word, the first time she took her first step and many other firsts. My husband on the other hand has missed many of her important firsts. That is the sacrifice he has made in order to have a parent always present for our child. I’m beyond grateful for that.

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We live in a beautiful neighborhood in a modest house. We take fewer vacations than we would if we were both working. I miss my career as a journalist but not enough to go back to work. Working full-time would not allow me to be as fully present as I am with my daughter. It’s a choice we are lucky to be able to make. I respect everyone’s choices, be it to stay at home or be a working parent. Whatever brings balance in our lives is what should be done. I have yet to be fully balanced but I’m working on it and this blog is just one way to help bring me balance. I still get to write, express my feelings and share what I have learned. My hopes are that my journey can be of help to someone else going through the ups and downs of life.

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To be a parent is a privilege. We are blessed to have our children. They are given to us by God to care for and raise to hopefully be adults that will contribute positively to the world.

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I know that my husband and I are so grateful to have such a kind, smart, funny, articulate and compassionate little girl. She is creative, artistic and most importantly she has a heart of gold. She is blessed to have a wonderful extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles who contribute into forming her character and self-esteem.

She has given us a decade of bliss. We live each day, moment by moment taking in all the beauty of her childhood. I hope we can make her as happy as she has made us. We look forward to many more years of growth and learning together.

We love you Sophia. Happy Birthday!

FALLING

This is a painting I recently created. It’s a replica of a picture I found on Pinterest. I usually like to create art I can connect to emotionally. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I often talk before I think and feel both love and pain with deep intensity. When I love, I love deeply. When I lose someone I love I literally fall apart. I am loyal to a fault. It may seem like a good character trait to have but it can sometimes backfire.

The painting depicts both the way I felt while I was painting it and the way that I feel today. It’s a feeling of falling, gently shifting into another phase of my life. Sometimes I am in control, feeling peaceful and quiet with my thoughts and my surroundings. Being in the now and appreciating all that I have. Sometimes it’s a feeling of losing control and direction .Feeling lost and alone. Mostly it makes me feel as if I’m floating into where I am supposed to go. Letting go of what I cannot control and being at peace with life.

How does it make you feel when you look at it?

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Missing your loved ones during the holidays

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The holidays are a time of family gatherings, traditions, gifts and spirituality.  It’s a magical time for children and adults alike. It’s also a time many of us miss our loved ones who are no longer with us. After someone  important dies the holidays are often never the same again.

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Traditions, events, parties, songs, movies.. the grief triggers are everywhere. Many cope with their loss by avoiding conversation about their loved ones or just being in denial. Here are some ways of coping with loss during this time.

My loved ones are always in my heart. I miss them even more when we have celebrations. Their absence is deafening. Keeping our loved one’s memory alive helps us cope. You can continue to make them a part of your holiday season.

Here some ways to remember loved ones during the holidays:

1. Photos: Leave old photo albums around, or make an album featuring your loved one. Before you know it you’ll be reminiscing and telling stories with family and friends.

2. Get out the old home videos. Yes it can be emotional and painful, but it also might be comforting to see your loved one up on the TV screen.

3. Wrap up a few of your loved one’s old things and give them to family and friends who will appreciate them. Write a card letting them know why you chose to give them this particular item. They will love the gift and the sentiment.

4. You can create a special place for people to write down memories. Put out a marker and paper or plain wooden ornaments. Friends and family can hang the ornaments or leave the memories in an empty gift box. When everyone is gathered together, read the memories aloud.

5. Donate to a cause in your loved ones name. Try  and choose a charity your loved one would have supported.

6. When you see a gift your loved one would have liked, go ahead and buy it. Donate it to a charity or give it to someone as gift.

7. Volunteer your time to others in need. You might choose a cause your loved one worked with or supported.

8. Light a candle in honor of your loved one. Leave it burning during days when you think you’ll miss them the most.

9. Invite your family and friends to a holiday potluck. Ask guests to make a dish that your loved one liked.

10. Buy or make a memorial ornament.

11. Use your loved one’s old recipe(s) to make holiday cookies or a holiday dinner.

12. Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one. You could also spend time watching their favorite holiday movies or listening to their favorite holiday songs.

13. Take the trip you have been planning or dreaming about.

14. Give a framed photo of your loved one to people who also miss them.

15. Spend time talking about your loved one with family and friends. Express your feelings…cry if you need to.

16. Take care of yourself. Attend a workshop or support group for people dealing with a loss during the holidays. Remember that your loved one would have wanted you to have the support you need.

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Unfortunately I’ve lost a lot of loved ones…family and friends. I think about them often. I’m always grateful that I believe in the hereafter and that someday I will reunite with my loved ones. For now, I choose to keep their memories alive and enjoy the loved ones who are here. I choose not to take them for granted and do my best to be present with them.

I wish you all peace and love during this wonderful season.