Thursday, March 31, 2016

What It Feels Like to Stare at Your Old Self

Quote of the day: 

One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good. 
-Gretchen Rubin 

First it was baby pictures, what your folks took pride in snapping, with copies printed and kept in family albums and not to forget framing some to keep around the house. And of course video capture too. There you are without a care in the world, getting picked up and pampered by different people. You were innocent and defenseless -and like all babies you were most likely dressed  in trendy clothes that look hilarious now (And yes there's nothing wrong in laughing at yourself, go on). Growing up you either liked being photographed or you didn't. "How about a photograph?" your folks would ask during certain occasions. You were already approaching adolescence and imagined what it would feel like to not have to take photos with relatives you hardly talked to, or so called family friends who were no friend of yours. There was no middle ground whatsoever. And on and on it goes. You discover later on that taking photos wasn't so bad. You embrace it. You capture moments spent with friends or with nature on your camera. And with your phone, the world became a stage with you being the director recording different scenes and acts...

Sounds familiar?

Looking at old photos of yourself can be quite uplifting. There you are in some timeless pose, and with a certain look in your eyes -and not to forget your sense of style which looking at may either amuse you (what were you thinking?), or make you laugh out loud. But there is a middle ground somewhere at least, for those whose old photos look great and decent enough not to elicit laughter, only pride and nostalgic tendencies.

They say sense of smell is closely linked with memory. Well looking at old photos of yourself may unveil a thousand memories. Each unlocked memory linked to a place and time. I'd say revisit the good old photos that bring smiles to your face, that transports you back in time across the years. I say good because you may have old photos of yourself that you dislike. But to see how far you've come in life, sometimes its happiness to revisit the early days.

So when was the last time you went through old photo albums of yourself? Did you have a good laugh? Do share your experience.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Gold Panda -You

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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Book Reading List #3

Quote of the day: 
My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. -Edith Sitwell 

It appears that my challenge of reading at least 5 books a month is still on course. As I present to you most of my book reading list for the month of April. The idea is to spend as much spare time that I have reading as much as I can, out of a handful of titles, and it has worked out quite well so far in that I've managed to read at least 5 books each month since I began this challenge at the start of the year.

I also like the fact that sometimes I pick books without reading the back covers, and just jump straight into reading. As with most cinema trailers that give away far too much of the plot, the same can apply to a book, and I try not to read reviews about the book until the very last page is turned. I must add that I do not do this for every book.

Moving on, here is my reading list as seen above:

Kazuo Ishiguru -Never Let Me Go
Haruki Murakami -A Wild Sheep Chase
Eilis Ni Dhuibhne -The Dancers Dancing
Paulo Coelho- Brida

What books are you reading or planning to read during the coming month? Do share.
Have a wonderful week!

Current Listen: John Newman -Losing Sleep

Saturday, March 26, 2016

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Three Things To Inspire Your Weekend #45

Quote of the day: 
Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough. -Richard M. DeVos 

image: Getty Images/Navesh Chitrakar

Prince Harry visiting Nepal to help shine a spotlight on the earthquake victims, most of whom are still living inside makeshift tents since the devastating natural disaster in 2015 which killed many and displaced families.

image: Facebook/Li Ting

A photo shared by Li Ting who was out dining, showing a McDonald's employee in the Chaozhou Township of Taiwan, helping to feed a customer with disability.

Clay Roof House as seen on Arch Daily 
Architects: DRTAN LM Architect
Location: Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Have a good Easter folks!

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Chet Faker - I'm Into You

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

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Poem: Lines Drawn Without Orderliness

Quote of the day: 
I felt the most intense pleasure in piercing the stone in order to make an abstract form and space; quite a different sensation from that of doing it for the purpose of realism. -Barbara Hepworth

image: DeviantArt/fyobyber

The escapism of sound protrudes.
Non piercing but yet audible enough.
Bound to life and noncorrosive particles. 
Even terrains can get overtly rough.

Visions spread across twisted faces.
Fever builds itself a fortified castle.
Progression was never a thing to grasp.
Blue horizon suppresses a yawn.

Polished metal of forgiveness.
Discarded along trembling paths.
Strings of melodies predominate.
Evenly spread across rusty banisters.

Lines drawn without orderliness. 
Tip toe across shards of glass.
Granting desires not impersonations.
A sculpture is a sculpture still.

Rinsing away solemnly night and day.
Submerge, baptize, and repeat.
Blessings over cataclysm.
Heavenly dusts remain unfading.

Immortality cannot be transient.
A window is but an open heart.
A photograph is but an illusion.
The revelation of sound caves in.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Mogwai - Take Me Somewhere Nice

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Often Zone Out!

Quote of the day: 

Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place. -Tecumseh

Distractions are never ending. You set out to do one thing, and end up doing another thing entirely. It all boils down to one thing, and that is the lack of focus. Many articles and books are out there that reveal just how focusing on one thing at a time can be a deal breaker. Focus or better yet concentration is an art that can be learned as with all things in life.

In the past, I’d often zone out, my mind wandering over hilltops and horizons with my physical body left to itself. I’d day dream and although this was a laudable thing it became more persistent with time. There must be a correlation between a wandering mind and lack of concentration. I could be sitting in class surrounded by fellow students and a teacher, and my mind could be miles and miles away. If this happened to other kids, I do not know. I was in my own world, a vast island with coconut trees, gushing waves and trembling winds. A space filled with essence and with no sense of time just emotions, pure and raw emotions. Maybe it was just a phase of growing up, of stumbling on the possibilities of the human mind. Of course I do not mean to say that my days of daydreaming are over, it’s just that they are a lot lesser than before. A lot less expansive, but more focused I’d say.

Distractions are never ending. There is a lot to contend with today. Throw away technology and this reduces the percentage drastically. No phones, no internet, nothing. What then would we be distracted by? The answer is anyone’s guess. But being able to discipline the mind has its benefits surely. Being in control is a wonderful thing. This ability to be mindful of one’s thoughts, of being aware of time and space, of giving energy to individual elements, time and space, highs and lows, and so on. When last did you take in a lungful of air, slowly and deliciously? When last did you close your eyes to feel yourself breathe in and exhale deeply, when last did you feel the beating of your own heart?

Imagine eating slowly, each spoonful a measure of your inner energy level which you must conserve. Each movement becomes more fluid, every action a milestone, and of course this also translates into other aspects of life –the ability to conserve energy, and not to give it away so freely. This calmness can be practiced, and can become a way of life. It doesn’t necessary mean one should be so rigid as not to be active, but hyperactivity can be draining. One of the best things to do to increase focus and energy levels is by exercising, and studies have shown it improves not just the body but the mind too.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Lorde - Tennis Court

Monday, March 21, 2016

Plans For The Week #45

Quote of the day: 
Colors are the smiles of nature. -Leigh Hunt

I sit at a vantage point and my view is one of grey clouds, a massive collection of water droplets forming in the horizon, pregnant with rain and only awaiting the breaking point. Birds soar high and low, if they can sense the impending rain, I do not know. These clouds are like designs set on marble, un-moving but yet with a distinct presence. And as I sit my thoughts blend in absolutely with the view and the trees and rooftops give off a sense of persistent elevation, and my thoughts evaporate in silent reflection...

Here are my plans for the week.


1. Evaluate my purpose. I want to be able to evaluate what my true purpose is, and if I am truly happy with the place and current state that I am in. Am I just living without fully expressing my abilities, and my dreams? I hope to reflect on that.

2. Take lots of photos. I was a freelance photographer for some time and what I enjoyed the most about it then was the ability to express myself through this art form. It made me happy and I hope to start taking at least one photo a day.

3. Read. With my March reading almost completed and with a new reading list for April, I hope to get some more reading done during the week. It is a great stress reliever for me and I urge you to try reading if you aren't already.

4. Exercise. I hope to make more time out to do workouts, and due to my schedule for the week my wake up time will be much earlier, and I'd like to fit in a workout or two in there somewhere.

5. Manage the week. The week will most likely be filled with highs and lows. I hope to manage this in the most practical way so as not to be bogged down with avoidable moments. So keeping my to-do-lists updated will help to sort out pending tasks as well as new ones.

How is your week going to be, made any plans yet? Here's wishing you great Easter holidays ahead. Have a nice week!

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Elderbrook - Be There Soon

Friday, March 18, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #38

Quote of the day: 
No man is a failure who is enjoying life. -William Feather

From my reading list, I am reading a book for the week by English Autor Victoria Hislop.

The book is a compilation of 10 brilliant stories, in which the author takes us on a journey through the Greek villages, towns and cities.

image: Amazon

Blurb of the book from amazon:

In ten powerful stories, Victoria Hislop takes us through the streets of Athens and into the tree-lined squares of Greek villages. As she evokes their distinct atmosphere, she brings vividly to life a host of unforgettable characters, from a lonesome priest to battling brothers, and from an unwanted stranger to a groom troubled by music and memory. These bittersweet tales of love and loyalty, of separation and reconciliation, captured in Victoria Hislop's unique voice, will stay with you long after you reach the end.

I have enjoyed reading this. I found the characters in each of the stories quite unforgettable. With colourful portrayals of the average Greek life, it leaves a yearning for more. If you enjoy short stories, you'll find this an interesting one.

What books are you currently reading?

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Swedish House Mafia -Save The World 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

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5 Ways to Brighten Someone's Day

Quote of the day: 
There are moments of life that we never forget, which brighten and brighten as time steals away. -James Gates Percival

There are people who are naturally happy and they always appear as very bright rays of sunshine in an otherwise dark space. With all the hectic lifestyles we most times lead, being able to feel appreciated can certainly make a whole day seem much better and nicer.

Here are 5 ideas I have come up with that you can adopt to help brighten someone's day -and of course yours too.

1. Go out of your way to help someone.
It could be as simple as doing much more than what is expected of you at any given time. We've all been in such positions where our actions have resulted in genuine feelings of happiness and contentment.

2. Give a compliment. 
Giving compliments can be hard to do, especially to a complete stranger. But feel free to express yourself to both people you know and those you don't, to say what you feel, and then move on with a smile. Its always nice to receive genuine compliments from people.

3. Remember an important event.
From birthdays, to anniversaries and special occasions, remembering to send a message or place a call to someone you know or used to know can be a great way to brighten up their day. This can include buying a gift. It shows how caring you are and this will definitely be appreciated.

4. Relax your mind. 
A relaxed mind is everything. This will eventually show in your dealings with others. When you practice quietness and contentment, your ability to let go of little insignificant things rises. You appreciate things more and this positive projection of yourself to others can be a wonderful thing. Just be happy.

5. Spend 10 minutes talking.
Take a break from your normal routine, and reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague that you would normally not spend too much time talking to. Ask them what they've been up to recently, and let the conversation flow from there.

Do feel free to share what ways you use to help brighten someone's day.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: The Fray -How To Save A Life

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #37

Quote of the day: 

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. -Wallace Stevens

When the sun peeps behind excited clouds there is every reason to smile, to be self aware of how great life is, and there is even more reason to bask in the reflecting light. Sunshine ignites an invisible fire each and every time, with darkness turning to shadows.

Having said that, there is a never ending hunger and fire to read, and keep getting lost in the world of books. My current read, which is the third for the month is a book by author Anna Perera.

Although it is a work of fiction, it is inspired by real events. It tells the story of Khalid, a 15 year old British teen whose life is forever changed when he travels with his family to Pakistan. It is a very compelling read about one boy's innocence in a time of conflict, uncertainty and paranoia.

What books are you currently reading? Do share.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Diogo Piçarra -Safe and Sound 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Poem: Just Before

Quote of the day: 

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. -Khalil Gibran 

In the morning
This first impression.
Right before the sun's glory.
Before the clouds make their procession.

Just before the dew drops.
Become evident on green grasses and crops.
And barren trees become basked in reflecting light.
Just before our focal thoughts take flight. 

Just before the raindrops.
Begin to swell into a flood.
And our subconsciousness sticks like mud.
Absorbed into the world of backdrops.
This last glimpse 

 Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Bon Iver -Skinny Love 

Monday, March 07, 2016

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Choose To Grow or Remain As You Are

Quote of the day: 

The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location. -Flannery O'Connor

image: DeviantArt/Siliguri

You have arrived at a crossroad and must now choose what direction to take. What will you do?

The build up to this important moment does not matter, the effort and sacrifices made so far takes a back seat, the acquaintances made along the way have no effect on how your final decision plays out, because that is life. We can learn from experiences and events that helped us along the way. After all is said and done, we are left alone with our thoughts being the only thing to keep us company. Our fears are our fears, our desires are our desires, and so on.

But what is fear if not an emotional response to things real and unreal, and what is desire if not a fire that can be extinguished at will. The whole universe is alive with your ideas and the stars delight in gazing down on you. But we cease to exist when we stop living for a purpose.

Evolve or perish. Grow or remain as you are.

We never seem to run out of crossroads and of diverging paths. The point is not to linger to long, but to be decisive, to take inspiration from the journeys through life, and not to be afraid to fail, and to reveal our shortcomings.

My plans for the week remain unchanged from the previous week.
Have you made yours yet? Be the best in the new week filled with direction and more.

Peace. Love. Light* 

Current Listen: Sade Adu -Paradise