Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soul Mates...

“A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks” ~Richard Bach
From a very young age I have been fascinated by, and been drawn to, the idea of soul mates. Of two souls being destined to become entwined. When I was in junior high, we read Romeo and Juliet in my Literature class. This was my first introduction to the concept of soul mates. After spending some time studying the written story, we then watched the movie (1968 version – the best in my humble opinion). I was captivated by the idea of a connection and love that powerful. Who wouldn’t be? From that moment onward, I became a very strong believer in soul mates.
The term soul mate means different things to different people. Many an author and poet have written of the unexplainable connection that certain people have to one another. Conversely, many a psychologist and scientist have dismissed the idea altogether. It seems as if your view of the existence of soul mates is entirely dependent on which prism you view things through. There’s nothing wrong with either prism…it’s just that certain prisms tend to put little stock in things that they deem “unexplainable”.
I also believe that soul mates come in all forms, not just the romantic type (although that’s what we normally think of when we think of soul mates). A soul mate can be the love of your life, or a soul mate could just as easily be your best friend. No matter what form a soul mate relationship takes, you know deep inside that it’s eternal and that your life, from that moment forward, will never be the same.
Do you believe in soul mates?

Friday, January 25, 2013

What I Love About Blogging

“A blog is in many ways a continuing conversation” ~ Andrew Sullivan

I love writing. It’s very cathartic for me and it’s an avenue for a part of my soul to be offered unto others. Although I love sharing my writings and thoughts on here, that’s not what I love most about blogging. What I enjoy the most about blogging is having the opportunity to read each and every one of your blogs.

My interaction with other bloggers on here has shown me just how many incredibly gifted people there are in this amazing world of ours. It’s truly humbling. The writing talent that exist in this world is greater than I ever imagined. I love reading about other people’s experiences and perspectives.  Its gives me an insight into worlds other than my own. It expands my horizons and doesn’t limit me to viewing things only from my prism.

We're like snowflakes in a sense; we all have our own unique two stories are the same.

Blogging is a way of bringing people from different cultures, and in many ways, different worlds, together. I have corresponded with people on here from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Brazil, Albania, Kenya, Canada, India, and Estonia to name but a few. There is a wonderment involved in communicating with someone halfway around the world. So to all who read this, I look forward to reading much more of your work in the future, and I sincerely thank you for all your feedback and comments on my blog. You make it such an enjoyable experience.

What do you love the most about blogging?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recognizing Similarities and Celebrating Differences

“As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit” ~ Seneca

I love learning about other cultures. It's so exciting! A few months ago, I had a wonderful conversation with two students from Lebanon in one of my grad school classes. The three of us were paired up while working on a group project. The conversation about the project segued into a conversation about our countries.

We talked for 30 minutes about the differences and similarities between our cultures. You know what conclusion we came to? That there aren't that many differences at all!

Cultural differences are absolutely fascinating and should be celebrated. However, we all love, hurt, laugh, cry, dream, fear, and hope. Every single human being on the planet does each of these things.

I firmly believe that the world would be a much more harmonious place if we were to spend a little more time recognizing these commonalities and looking at our differences not with fear, but with wonderment and celebration. 
What are your thoughts? Would recognizing our similarities and celebrating our differences create a more harmonious world?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Beauty of Letting Go...

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu

There’s not a person reading this blog right now who hasn't  at one time in their life been faced with having to let go. Whether it’s letting go of a relationship, an unfulfilled dream, or a painful past, letting go is one of the hardest things any of us will ever do. If there’s one commonality that we all share, it’s that each and every one of us wants to be happy. But we make it difficult to achieve happiness by holding onto the past.

We have a habit of attaching our identity to someone else or something else. By doing this, we lose our individuality. Once this attachment is broken or is starting to break, we try harder than ever to maintain that attachment even when we know in our hearts that it’s time to let go.
It’s human nature to want to “hold on”. We’re creatures of habit…we thrive on familiarity. The thought of losing that can be a scary proposition. But we don’t need to be scared. The unfamiliar does not have to be viewed with fear. ..By letting go we can actually let happiness in.
Believe me I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but you may surprise yourself. You may discover an internal fortitude that you never knew you had. Always keep in mind that letting go is the first step in moving forward and living the life you've always imagined :)
Have you found the beauty in letting go? Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Top 10 Places in the World that I Want to Visit

I experience frequent wanderlust so I thought it apropos to list the 10 places in the world that I most want to visit in my lifetime :) 

There’s just something about the Emerald Isle that has always appealed to me. While I'm there, Dunluce Castle is at the top of my list.

I have always, from the time I was an adolescent, dreamt of visiting Australia – particularly the Great Barrier Reef!!

Exploring the pristine wilderness of Yellowstone has always been a dream of mine

I have always had very romanticized notions of Prague…I would love to visit there someday.

Costa Rica, with its rain forest canopy tours and beautiful beaches, would be an amazing place to see.

I would love to visit London - particularly at Christmastime! 

Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls, Matabeleland North
Africa in general has always fascinated me, and Victoria Falls is a perfect representation of this beautiful continent. 

I have always wanted to see what is often described as the most beautiful mountain chain on earth, the Swiss Alps.

Greece is one of the most historically fascinating places on earth, and it would be simply amazing to visit! 

I thought I’d save the best for last. This has been #1 on my list for years. The picture alone should tell you why. The definition of paradise on earth… 

It was VERY difficult to narrow this list to 10 - I can most definitely see another list in a future blog post.

What’s your dream destination?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Do you think you can...?

"Whether you think you can, or think you can''re right"  ~Henry Ford

I have always loved this quote. To me, it illustrates one of life’s fundamental truths…there is power to be found in positive thinking. I am a strong believer in positivity. I think it can do wonders for the soul. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t always believe in it. But once I started actually practicing it, it changed me internally in ways that I never thought possible.

If we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to believe in us? If we don’t think we can accomplish something, haven’t we already set ourselves up for failure before we even begin? If we take a negative approach to something or someone, won’t that negativity begin to permeate the relationship/connection with that someone or something?

Is positivity a magic wand that can make anything happen? Of course not. There’s no such thing. Positivity does not work in such a manner. But what it DOES do is bring about a sense of internal clarity and happiness that is so often missing within us. It will allow for more positive interactions with others, and that is wonderfully contagious. It will also allow us to pursue difficult or intimidating endeavors with a mindset that does not set us up for failure before we even begin. That alone can make all the difference in the world.

Do you find that positive thinking helps you? Or do you feel that it’s easier than it sounds? Share your thoughts or experiences.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If You Could Have Personally Witnessed One Event in History...

“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

The other day, I was thinking about what historical event that I would have most wanted to witness. The answer didn't come to me right away so I took some time to ponder it. There are so many events in history that I would love to be able to see. From the monumental (JFK’s inauguration speech) to the groundbreaking (Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier), to the history-altering (The Berlin Wall coming down)’s so hard to choose.

After thinking about it though, I chose Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I just think it would be so amazing to be able to witness what was, to me, the most important speech of the twentieth century. Imagine being able to say that you were there…wow.
If you could have personally witnessed one event in history, what would you choose?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunrises vs. Sunsets

“A sunrise is like a sunset, only backwards” ~Anonymous
Sunrises and sunsets. Both are so beautiful but in such completely different ways. It’s amazing how two things that look so similar can elicit two completely different emotional reactions within us.

For me, sunsets are one of the most calming things on earth. A sunset is the culmination of the day as it slowly and beautifully evaporates into nightfall. It is like seeing the farthest edges of the earth burning with the very last light of the day. Watching a sunset is a truly serene feeling indeed.

Sunrises bring with them a different kind of beauty. They signify the promise of a new day…a new beginning. Seeing the dark horizon slowly ignite with that magnificent and bright pre-sun orange is such a beautiful scene. Once the sun slowly arises from its slumber, it makes it presence known on the horizon by setting the entire world aglow.

What about you? Do you prefer sunsets or sunrises?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ageless Love...

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“Being someone’s first love may be great, but to be their last is beyond perfect” ~Anonymous  

About 6 weeks ago, at a function that I was attending with a friend, I met an elderly couple who have been together over 40 years. Their names were Walt and Mavis. As we were chatting, I was simply spellbound by their story. They talked of how they met (which is an amazing story in and of itself) and about their courtship.

They also spoke of how they fell in love…

Mavis spoke with a smile, telling of how it was her that “wooed Walt” rather than the other way around – which she said was almost unheard of at that time. Walt, who was the much more soft-spoken of the two, simply smilled and nodded his head saying "she chased me". Her persistence paid off, as they had their first date at an ice cream shop. The rest is history :)
I walked away from this conversation feeling so inspired. Isn’t love amazing? Isn’t it heartwarming to know how timeless it is and how enduring it is? These two souls found each other over 40 years ago and their souls are still intertwined to this day. Wow. What an amazing and wonderful thing.

What can we learn from couples who have been together for this long?