Video

A Witness to Happiness

While this may be a commercial for life insurance, it is not so far from the truth. In every corner of the Earth, we can find people just like this man. I know it to be true because I have met these people in my life. Graceful, humble, generous, kind souls. Unsung Heroes.

Modern society is a little obsessed with being seen, known, recognized. Everything is done with the intention of someone recognizing it. Social media fuels this obsession. Our thoughts are shared with thousands of people and we’re able to instantly get feedback.

But this is all a façade. We don’t share what’s really important, we hardly ever share the truth. So what are we really sharing?

Not everyone needs to receive a benefit to do a good deed. A little humanity would tell you to help the old lady cross the street, to buy a snack for the homeless man, to take a stray dog to a shelter.

A good deed never goes unnoticed, the Universe has eyes and ears everywhere.

What we need are more people that recognize and accept love as a currency…

That consider emotions as a payment to be worth our efforts.

In doing so, we reach a deeper understanding.

We get the feeling that we understand what this life is all about…

Love.

Feeling it, sharing it, being it.

It’s funny. I’ve always thought that money was what corrupted the world. Before we invented currency, we participated in barter where people would exchange goods or services among each other. It seemed to have work so well for centuries until well… greed came into the picture. People weren’t sure if they were getting as much as they were giving. Was one cow worth five pigs? Hence the invention of currency.

Nowadays, with all the uses of money we are more concerned with the things money cany buy… and it all boils down to one thing and one thing only:

Love.

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Thomas Carlyle

 

Let’s go out there and do something loving today 🙂

 

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Video

We are only Human.

It’s Music Monday again! Today I’d like to share a special song with you. Krewella is a band consisting of two sisters Jahan & Yasmine. They usually play electro house and dubstep but this year on the mainstage of Ultra Music Festival, they debuted a ballad.

‘Human’ was a song written for their Krew (fans). On stage, they stated:

“We wrote this song for our fans. When they’re feeling misunderstood and lonely, when they’re feeling pain, shame, unwelcome because of their race, unaccepted because they’re gay, when they’re dealing with addiction, depression, with all that stress, struggle; the feeling of failure is what makes us stronger.”

 

This is a reminder of what it means to be Human.

As humans, we are not perfect. On the contrary, that was never the intention.

Hindus believe in reincarnation and that each life is a set of lessons or new experiences that we must go through in order to achieve our highest state of being, in order to become a soul that God dwells within. The trees, the plans, even the ants around us are all souls that are living out their earthly experience until they go on to the next. As humans, we must have reincarnated several times before and accumulated some good karma.

To be a human is a gift.

We are capable of so much. Of love, compassion and gratitude. We are also capable of pain, suffering and despair. Ultimately, it is our choice how we choose to live.

Not everyone is perfect, no one is without pain or guilt or fear, but we each make a choice of how we move on with our life. That is why I’d like to remind you how important it is to be empathetic of others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think about the people around you. Your family, your co-workers, the delivery guy, your doctor, your electrician. Now remember the strangers. The cashier at the grocery store, The Customer Service Rep that you spoke to yesterday. Every one of them is living out a life of their own with trials and struggles which you may know nothing about.

What you can do for them is to be kind. I remember a barista at a coffee shop once lashed out at me. I asked him if they had honey instead of sugar and that was all it took to trigger his inner demons. As a barista, he dealt with the situation horrible but as a human, he was doing the best he could and that’s what we need to understand. Underneath it all, we are all human. There is no difference.

If you are struggling with something, then I have a simple word of advice: Be Kind to Yourself. As kind as you would be to others. Forgive and be graceful. No one deserves your love more than you. Be gentle and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will be surprised at how many people are out there that want to help you. I know I do.

 

Video

Caged Bird, Take Flight.

Caged bird, take flight. Never lose your will to fight.

I am elated.
I am proud.
I am grateful.

Today, on Music Monday (yes, I just made that up) I’d like to share with you a local band from my beautiful island of Barbados. A treasure find is more like it.

Hungry Soul is a new band but lead singer Dennica Pearl has been creating music for some time now. The 22 year old, singer-soul writer, born in St. Michael, Barbados and raised in Florida. Acoustic, soul, jazz artist influenced mainly by Billie Holiday, Tracy Chapman, and Erykah Badu. Her belief that musicians are agents of change with the responsibility to lift the social level of consciousness are reflected in her lyrics.”

I am proud to call the members of this band my friends & beautiful souls. The Universe brought them to me and now I am sharing their gift with you. I hope this song brings you love, joy and peace today 🙂

I love this song, maybe because I feel like the bird in it. Living in a prison that I created for myself. I remember reading Maya Angelou‘s poem for the first time and thinking since when was freedom something we had to fight for? Nevertheless, it is. Until this day, there are people fighting to keep us ‘free’.

There’s liberation in these lights.

Music frees the masses,

come unwind your mind.

We live in a world

full of mass confusion;

unmask your psyche,

control is an illusion.

We all have a version of a ‘cage’ in our life. Whether it’s regret, fear, or sorrow holding us back. Whether it’s your job, bank account or city. I’ve never met anyone that hasn’t felt trapped. But we are not. There are no chains tying us to the ground. We were born to fly. If you believe this, you will be able to soar across the highest of peaks. Believe. Believe in yourself, your strengths, your capabilities.

Believe that you deserve to live your dreams. And live them.    

It’s not as complicated as you make it out to be 🙂

I’d also like to remind you: There is inspiration everywhere.

Take a walk around your neighborhood, explore your hometown, find a local group or band or class or person that is attuned to your frequency. Really notice your surroundings. You might be amazed and what you find. A mutual friend introduced me to this amazing band and when I met the lead singer, she can attest that I told her I loved her on the first day of meeting her. She had such a pure, generous and radiant energy. In her, I found another soul sister. Thank you, Universe. So get out there, put your best foot forward and allow what’s meant for you to come your way.

 

Video

Love at First Kiss

The beauty of this video is its rawness and elegance. 20 strangers, a heart-breaking song and everything is in black and white… how could it go wrong?

I’m sharing this with you today because i love the idea of strangers colliding. I always say that friends are strangers waiting to be found. Think back to the first time you met your best friend or significant other… we all started out the same didn’t we? As strangers.

When we think strangers we tend to think negatively. People foreign, unknown, alien to us. We don’t know them, their motives, their intentions, their belief system, their oral hygiene regime. So, in a scenario where someone asked you to kiss a stranger… would you? Most people would say no. Why? Probably because of all the antique societal connotations involved in it. Some would, but even then those people would be labeled as “adventurous”.

This video strips away at everything that separates us and shows us how easily love can connect us.

What is a kiss but a transferal of love? When you kiss anyone you know, do you not do it out of love? Why is kissing a stranger any different?

We, as human beings, were not meant to be separated, segregated, disseminated or hierarchic. There are a million things that separate us, a million things we’ve constructed.
But remove that and you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Two strangers kissing give us the “feels”, not because we’re perverts but because we recognize two souls connecting with each other. And as I have said countless times before and as I will say countless more times in the future, we are all souls, spirits, energy… just because you don’t know someone doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t impact on you. We are a collective, a whole. That’s what makes this video so riveting.

Our life is ephemeral. Our body experience only lasts a short time. We were given this life for a purpose, do not, I beg, be afraid to go out and find it. Do not be afraid to strike up conversation with a stranger. Do not be afraid to try something different, something new. All these things will lead you to magical places, places you can’t imagine because they’re things you never expected and that, my friends, is the beauty of love. And life.

So let’s love fully
And let’s love loud
Let’s love now
‘Cause soon enough we’ll die…
– Soko

Video

Carpe 86,400

One Lifetime = 2,366,820,000 seconds.

How do you measure your life?
How do you measure your day?
Your hours?
Your minutes?
Your seconds?

For the most part, TIME on a general scale, is something we take much for granted. I know I certainly did when I was young. Procrastination comes as natural as breathing.

If we squander so much time by nature, how are we then supposed to capture the moment?

Time is a precious resource, one of the most precious of all I would say. We can replenish our money, we can recover our health, but time is something you can never get back. Once you’ve lost it, it’s gone and the issue is that we take the next second for granted. We consider our every breathe to be a replenishment of the previous one, when in fact, it is not! Each breathe we take is a separate life of itself. Each one containing countless options, possibilities and decisions of which only one can emerge.

A close friend of mine asked me if I thought time stood still with a lover.
“When you kiss or make love, it feels like times stops” she said.
I believe the reason behind that feeling is because we are living consciously and attentively in the present moment. That kiss or that act of love is all we focus on. When you are in the present moment, there is no wandering of the mind to the past or the present. None of that exists. All you have is now. So it would make sense to feel as if time was frozen.

It is a beautiful thing to be in the present moment, we should all strive to live there more often.

Another beautiful think is to take chances, seize opportunities, take risks.

Life is a set of moments, all you need is one to change your entire life.

If it doesn’t work out, at least you tried.

Whatever you do, seize those 86,400 seconds over and over again!

Video

Survival Kit 101

Please watch this video. It will change your life forever. I promise you. You will never look at a bad day the same ever again.

Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen
meant to blind us from the truth
and the truth is whether we seem them or not
the sun and the moon are still there
and always there is always light.

I can never listen to a Shane Koyczan poem without crying. He extends his arm of words and touches my soul, he stirs me up, he makes me whole. I don’t have much more to add to this. Life is not perfect. We have bad days, we fall down, we fall short, we mess up. We get scared, we feel weak, we disappoint someone, we don’t make it and we hurt. 

I have bad days. Emphasis on the plural. I don’t always wake up feeling awesome. I don’t feel like I give enough, like I live enough. I hurt… and I bleed. And you and me, we bleed the same. I’ve also learned to transform my pain, to grow from it, to create from it. So I try. I try everyday to be better. To give the best of myself. Because that’s what makes me truly happy. 

If you are having a good day, be considerate.
A simple smile could be the first-aid kit
that someone has been looking for.
If you believe with absolute honesty that
you are doing everything you can – do more

I’m a true believer of the power of a simple smile. Someone once changed my life just by smiling at me. I have helped many of my friends just by being there for them, looking them in the eye with a smile and reminding them that everything happens for a reason – that it WILL be okay.

Love and hate are beasts

and the one that grows

is the one you feed.

Every day we wake up with a choice. We set ourselves up within the first few minutes of waking up. Do I want to feel grateful today? Do I want to be cranky? Close, reserved? Open, giving? A Yes Man or a I Don’t Know Guy. Every single day of our lives we wake up…and we make that choice of who we want to be.

Everyone knows pain.

We are not meant to carry it forever

If you decided one day to wake up and feel sad, burdened, small, frightened, fragile, hopeless, poor or defeated. It’s just today. It’s okay. None of that is really true. None of that is really you.

PS – If you’d like to hear more poems like this from Spoken Word poets, please check my Awesome Poetry page.

Video

Are you Empathetic?

Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher-storyteller and kind of a rock star for me. I previously posted her TED Talk on Vulnerability where she laid out some deep truths in such an elegant and simplistic manner with a dash of humor in a way that only she could do.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown breaks down vulnerability to reveal what she calls “wholeheartedness”: The capacity to engage in our lives with authenticity, cultivate courage and compassion, and embrace — not in that self-help-book, motivational-seminar way, but really, deeply, profoundly embrace — the imperfections of who we really are. It is sheer brilliance.

In this sweet & short video, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) teamed up with animator Katy Davis to bring to life an excerpt from Brown’s longer talk on the power of vulnerability and the difference between empathy and sympathy, based on her most recent book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. (also brilliant)

“The truth is, rarely can a response make something better — what makes something better is connection.”

How many of you can agree to this statement?

How many of us are actually connecting when we communicate?

In her book, Brown writes:

Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience.
Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.

[…]

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

How vulnerable are you willing to be?

Video

Black Dog Days Will Pass

In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the “black dog of depression”.

How many of you have seen The Black Dog?
How many of you had kept it as a pet in your own home?
How many of you still take a walk with it everyday?

I do.

I’ve struggled with the black dog my entire life.

As a child, I wasn’t the most “ordinary” girl. The other girls wanted to play with Barbie dolls and go shopping, I wanted to climb trees and go exploring. The things that made me happiest or made me feel accomplished (attempting to climb a tree and actually reaching the top) were of no value to my parents. In fact, they would yell and be disappointed at my lack of lady-like mannerisms. That’s when the puppy appeared.

As a pre-teen, I was overweight. Acne and extra belly fat is a bad combination at any age… But at 10 it’s all too horrific. The puppy grew a little more.

As an adolescent, my everyday routine could be condensed into one word: Struggling.

I was at that age where I was able to assimilate all my thoughts and emotions, I was able to give them words and meanings. I was so tortured now that I think of it. I would bathe myself in hurt everyday. Everything would weigh me down. Not living up to expectations, not being pretty, not being smart enough, not being creative, gutsy, not knowing what I wanted to do, not taking risks. I missed out on a lot of my life because of fear. And then I hated myself for it. Plus, I was dealing with some serious self-denial about my sexuality. Plus, I had developed an eating disorder. To say the least, I was pretty suicidal in college.

That is why it humbles me down to my bones everyday to remember where I came from and to know that I’ve gotten to a beautiful place I like to call “This”. My present. My moment. To remember my limiting beliefs, my lack of self confidence, of self esteem, of emotion. You can read my “Confession” in my previous post Pain, My Mentor to know what I’m talking about. I’ve had to overcome a series of painful events in order to break free. But I’ve learned that’s how life works, isn’t it? The harder we fall, the higher we fly. 

Today, however, one of my long standing monsters is “Discipline”. Self-control has never been my forte. That’s why I can never stick to a schedule or a diet or a routine. That’s why I’ve been scrambling to find the time to meditate for weeks, that’s why I’ve been begging myself to sit down and write during the night because… I have no order. I have no discipline. I know what my problem is and what I need to do in order to improve on it… but some days I fall short. Very short. Luckily, I’ve learned the art of forgiving oneself so it keeps me afloat and I know that each day is a day for me to try again.

I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m a person that gets up and tries everyday to be better and that is good enough for me.

I know a lot of people are out there right now struggling. It hurts me to know that some are battling with no light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I could tell me that dark days don’t last forever, that the sun always shines. I wish I could tell them that they’re innocent and they’ve done no wrong, that it’s ok to just be down at times. I wish I could shine some light into their lives.

Please share this if you or someone you know is suffering from depression. Help shine the light and know for a fact that sadness doesn’t last. Before you know it…

Video

Clarity

‘Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need
Chasing relentlessly, still fight and I don’t know why

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love’s insanity, why are you my clarity?

I love to self-dedicate songs. So when I heard this song, I thought it was the perfect melody. It had just the right amount of good music & meaningful lyrics. It spoke of a message that made everything crystal clear to me. I dedicated this song to a piece of me I wish I didn’t need… My Ego.

We could sit here and talk all day about Ego. We both know it loves the attention. What is the Ego to you? Ego has been described to mean many things.

“Ego” is a Latin and Greek (ἑγώ) word meaning “I”, often used in English to mean the “self”, “identity” or other related concepts, Ego has also often been quoted by writers and philosophers as the “false self”. Freud considers the Ego to be a kind of Super-Human. So, you see, the Ego can be many things. More importantly, the Ego is what you make it to be. The Ego has no power on its own, only what you give it, what you feed it. It lives and dies because of you.

During one of my meditations a few years ago I feel like I went on a long journey with my Ego (my Ego likes to be spoken of with a capital E).

It took me to deep places of my subconscious and showed me memories of my past that I had blocked out. It was showing me the source of why I had become the person that I was…an angry, rebellious, pessimistic teenager. It was showing me those memories so I could take away the power of them. So I could forgive the ones I loved, myself and move on. It became my guide that day.

Some people will tell you that to achieve a higher level of consciousness or to become more spiritually attuned that you have to “kill the ego”. I don’t believe in that concept. I think a person is far more wiser when he learns to accept and coexist with his Ego. Because, at the end of the day it is a part of oneself. Our Ego is necessary. It can protect us, comfort us, educate us and enlighten us if we were to believe in its good nature. Remember that your thoughts alter the Universe. If you have negative thoughts about something, you are planting a seed of negativity in that thing. If you think your Ego is “evil” and out to get you. Guess what? That’s what it’ll do.

My Ego has taken over me a lot during my lifetime and not in a good way. When I am vulnerable or unhappy my Ego steps in for me. In order to protect me from getting hurt any further, it becomes a shield. It says and does all the things that I personally am not brave enough to do. My Ego has the ability to say “No”. My Ego was my pride. After I let go of my pride, after I stopped feeding it and seeking it, the Ego remained. It had a different purpose now, it was there to remind me of other people’s pride. It was there to warn me about people who like to take advantage of humble people. People with ulterior motives, with fake promises, with hidden personalities. I still had to learn the lesson the hard way because I had an unwavering heart that wanted to believe in the best of people. I believed that if you give someone a chance to do right, they will. I must admit it’s idealism, and even though that’s true, I will never stop trying and believe (while my Ego growls in the background).

The truth is, my Ego is my friend. I have been through so much with it. We have fought, I have tried to cut it out of my life, I have tried to lock it up, to silence it, to bargain with it, to fight with it again, to really get physical with it, to hurt it, to heal it only to hurt it again and back to fighting it and finally accepting it. My Ego may not fully accept me. I still haven’t lived up to its expectations as yet, but I accept it. Because I accept Me. I am not perfect. I am just me. And I love every itty, bitty, little piece of me. Including my big, fat Ego. (there I go hurting it again.)

Talk to your Ego. Get some clarity. Open your eyes. Discover a new side of you. Would it be too bold to suggest even loving your Ego? By loving it i mean treating it with love. The same way you treat yourself, all your body parts, your quirks, your “flaws” and all the things that make you who you are. Don’t let your ego BLIND you, let it GUIDE you.

Video

Existential Bummer

This video will possibly inspire you, make you tear up, and convince you to go out and start living life to the fullest — all in three minutes.

For the last few months, filmmaker Jason Silva has been impressing us with his philosophical YouTube series, “Shots of Awe.” This installment, called “Existential Bummer,” is no exception.

In it, Silva asks: How should we react to the fact that everything we love will eventually come to an end?

Watch his response above.

I love everything about this video, from the angles of the camera to the Freud & Rilke reference to the use of the word entropy.

“There’s a sadness to the ecstasy”

 

It’s so painfully and yet beautifully true. We cherish the special moments because we know that they’re ephemeral. Nothing lasts forever, well besides our souls. Everything is impermanent. There is no yesterday or tomorrow, all we have really and truly IS THIS MOMENT! 

 

This moment is our present, past & future. So yes, we can make a moment last forever, we can not let go, we can make it count. Live your life as if you are experiencing a succession of moments rather than counting down the hours or the moments.

Each day we are born anew, Buddha said. What you do with your life RIGHT NOW is all that matters. If you don’t do anything, that’s ok. Start over tomorrow. Try again. Each day we are born anew… take that to heart. Each day you wake up with a clean slate. What happened yesterday no longer matters, what’s going to happen tomorrow holds no bearing on you. You are in the present moment and making the most of it!

carpe diem