Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Put Dat in Yuh Pipe and Smoke It



Sometimes you feel as though you're at wit's end, discouraged, disappointed, broken down, and beyond yourself that this year didn't go very quite as well as you had expected. But before you throw in your towel, take a 2nd look at your year and what has taken place. Did you have some good experiences? Did you learn some lessons? Did you find truth? Did you experience miracles? Did you show or receive love? Then, perhaps it's not as bad as you think it was? I know initially, experiencing a rather forlorn holiday, I felt as though I had rolled over more resolutions to next year than my roll-over minutes. Sure I had experienced much beauty for a greater period of the year, but the not so good moments seemed to suck that much happiness away from me, as opposed to all the beauty that were now simply memories. Remember whenever you feel like this you must quickly and earnestly pull yourself out of this negativity; for you attract what you think or believe. For you can be the sweetest person, the kindest person, the most sincere, and if you 'feel sorry' for yourself or fall from grace, that's sadly just where you'll stay. Its okay to grieve, just don't stay there for too long; you've got to be resilient, and it's not the easiest of feats, so feel free to ask the Universe for help. Don't be hard on yourself; even the greatest men had low moments and much melancholy.


In Trinidad & Tobago, 'Put dat in yuh pipe and smoke it' is a very common saying, which basically means 'Listen to what I am telling you carefully, because it's the wisest most brilliant words you'll ever hear'. And so accept this to be true, I hope that you certainly do put that into your wooden pipes and take a long and hard pull. Despite the disappointments, shortcomings, financial strains, lost love, car-accidents, death, tears, etc. etc. etc. you must think of all the important blessings and lessons that you have arrived at throughout this bumpy ride or journey of life for this past year. When you think your life is that tragic, you better believe there are individuals out there with much greater feats and much more terrible constraints than you yourselves have. Consider yourself lucky, or simply be grateful for going through whatever you are, to learn your lessons and be able to see more clearly and become that much stronger.


I remember heading to work on Christmas day thinking about the year thus far and how quickly it had come to an end. And about how many things I did or did not accomplish, I felt like Santiago in Paulo Coelho's masterpiece 'The Alchemist', when he was robbed of his good fortune and left without hope in the world. Santiago lamented, "…He was so ashamed that he wanted to cry. He had never even wept in front of his own sheep. But the marketplace was empty, and he was far from home, so he wept. He wept because God was unfair, and because this was the way God repaid those who believed in their dreams…When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy. People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I'm sad and alone. I'm going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I'm going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I'm going to hold on to what little I have, because I'm too insignificant to conquer the world…" I felt defeated just like Santiago did, but somehow as I walked towards the bus station, the beautiful sunset spoke to me. The clouds were so fluffy and spread out in brilliant purple, orange and grey; I knew at that moment, I had to continue to believe that my efforts were not in vain. We become disheartened when we give our best and our all in different aspects of our lives, and see others accomplish the success' that we want, without any care, determination or respect for the craft with which we aspire. Some are just plain lucky, born into it, some believe they are worthy, whether or not they have powerful or inspirational gifts or messages for the rest of us. This makes us feel unmerited; but we are not to judge, for we not know the entire story, and we not know the individual's complete path.


I thought of a funny story, given to me by a fellow and wise flight attendant on a lovely layover one day; I was feeling tired and worried about a situation, and told her that I'd had wonderful dreams of what was to be and what really is, however my mind still doubted the truth that was given to me; my mind kept running along, and in turn caused me suffering. She told me that I must believe in the truth that was given to me, and that I should indeed trust the angels and Universe/God, as they had told me. This is the story she shared with me:


"There was a man who enjoyed taking photos, and he visited the Grand Canyon and decided to spend time shooting the beauty there. He had his back turned towards the Canyon, admiring the splendor through his lens and kept taking steps backward. He did so until finally he fell over the edge and was holding on for dear life. He called out to God, "Please, oh God, help me, I need your help so that I don't fall over into the Canyon!" God said, "Don't you trust me?" The man said, "Yes, of course, I'm a good Christian man." God said, "Because you are a good Christian man, has nothing to do with it, do you trust me?" The man exclaimed, "Of course I do, I go to church every weekend!" God said, "It doesn't matter if you go to church every weekend, do you trust me?" The man cried out, "Yes, of course I trust you, please, can you just help me!" God said, "Well, if you trust me, just let go." The man yelled, not trusting, and said, "Is there anybody else that can help me?"


It reminded me of how easily humans give up or want the easy way out; of how easily humans become frustrated and disenchanted. That we say we want help, that we say we want the best for us, but we keep causing harm and suffering to ourselves. The heavenly Universe, earth-bound angels with gifts of foreseeing and understanding and even our own intuition tell us the truth and which paths we must follow; trying to give us the most pleasurable journey, yet we ignore. We make noise, in our minds, our hearts, by blasting the music (which I'm guilty of too – hahah), or turning up the tele' and listening to nonsense given to us by people that don't have our best interest at heart, or society who puts rubbish in our heads saying, this is how you must live your life if you want to get to heaven, or this is what you must buy into to be 'cool'. It really is a bloody shame to say the least. We know the truth! It is all within us; and for those who are so deep into brainwashing or for those who have forgotten, then remember this; you cannot achieve greatness on your own; you cannot achieve greatness with arrogance and playing games with those who have but really don't know the truth. Sure you must be confident in your talents and gifts, but you must also be humble, it is the only way you can learn more, it is the only way with which you can be rewarded with success/greatness. For those of you who believe in what society tricks them into believing, and you yourself know that it isn't the truth, you will find that you are only living life in mediocrity, and missing out on the plethora and vastness of the beauty your life can really be.


And for those who enjoy stories like I do, that brings me to another story I stumbled upon while re-reading 'The Alchemist' before the New Year, which goes like this:


"A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived. Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world, the wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for 2 hours before it was his turn to be given the man's attention.


The wise man listened attentively to the boy's explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn't have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in 2 hours. 'Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something' said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. 'As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.'


The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. 'Well', asked the wise man, 'did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?' The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. 'Then go back and observe the marvels of the world', said the wise man. You cannot trust a man, if you don't know his house'.


Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man he related in detail, everything he had seen. 'But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you'? asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he had, the boy saw that all the oil was gone. 'Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you', said the wisest of wise men. 'The secret to happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil in the spoon.'


Take these stories how you want to, but I am certain you too understand, just as I did on that layover, and just as Santiago the shepherd did too in 'The Alchemist'. I mustn't go on and on, for if I do, the year will already be here, and we still have some present time of this year to enjoy. I will simply leave you with what I have learnt on my journey this year:


*If you settle for less, because of circumstances or what other people force upon you, you will realize you are making the biggest mistake in your life. Hopefully you don't realize too late, because that will be your life, and it will be an unhappy one.


*We can learn a lot from a children's zeal and how they view the world; every sense is exquisite and delightful. They fall and cry, learn and move on stronger. We too must notice the sunset's beauty and the lovely moon's stillness of the night. Realize the truth when presented to us, accept it, and trust the Universe's map, even when we cannot see ahead of us.


*If you think your end of the stick is bad, you'd be surprised to see someone else's. Forget those that seem to be ahead of you and unworthy, focus only on your path and your dreams, keep on with faith and you will get there too.


*Treat people how you want to be treated, if they don't treat you with respect, love and trust, they don't really love or care about you, therefore they don't need to be in your lives, unless of course you enjoy bringing suffering unto yourself.


*Sometimes you attract ill things to yourself, and sometimes, ill things come just to create change in your life, or help you see clearer; whatever is in the dark must come to light and consequently, the Universe and heavenly team are evidently bringing better and more positive things into your life.


*Let go and feel that awful feeling of falling, but know that you will be caught in the cushioniest of embraces.


* If you truly love someone, then you must let them learn their lessons on their own, and do what they need to do to find the truth. Be selfless, instead of self-centered, and let them go, if they're worthy of your dazzling attributes, they'll realize and come back. If they come back with bundles not addressed to you or red-handed, then 'Put THEM in your pipe and let them BURN'[ well, that's not very nice, but realize they don't deserve you!]


*You're not 'weird' because you're different, you're extraordinary! And who wants to be cookie-cutter anyway.


*If you feel a cold coming on, stop burning your candles at both ends, let go of the stress, and over-dose on vitamin C or lemons.


*If people promise to help you along the way towards your destination, but in turn try sleep with you or get things from you, keep moving along, they are only thinking of themselves.


*The boy that tries to sleep with you only wants to satisfy his urges and if he no longer can get it, keeps moving on; the man that respects you, really wants to get to know you better.


*Enrich and celebrate you! Sometimes we take on responsibilities or problems which don't belong to us, rewind and refocus on what your mission is and don't be lead astray.


*Accept kindness and/or compliments from strangers or friends, they are good omens and gifts.


Remember the Book of Job (one of the greatest stories). Faith and Trust are some of the most important lessons in life. Without faith, trust, gratefulness and true love, you will never find happiness. And if you think you find happiness from material things, know that they only bring temporary pleasure; they too will fade with time. Nothing lasts in this life, except true love, like what dogs have for their masters, mothers for their sons, prophets to God and souls that are in sync. J


Happy 2011 ~ **Bless-up & Cheers! Out with the old and in with the New! Woo-Hooooo!


Dance like nobody's watching, Laugh out loud, Explore the world, Look at yourself in the mirror and say 'I love you!' J

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fall on your Knees



I've been trying my best to dodge all the red and green decorations on Pine trees, slide by the Christmas tunes and Ho-ho-ho's from dancing Santa Claus', zone out the families bickering in the aisle right next to the cashier when I am checking out and scurrying past the lovers kissing passionately under the mistletoe; but lemme' tell you, it's been mighty difficult. It is Christmas after all, and just because you happen to sacrifice yours this year, for whatever reasons, the show still must go on! I remember one Christmas being snuggled up in my hotel room bed with a warm cookie, and no milk…but who am I kidding, people from Trinidad & Tobago don't have no cookies and no milk…we don't dip our sweets anywhere except our mouths; now maybe some roti-skin or parata in some good curry channa and pumpkin, now you're talking! But yes, I'd prefer a nice cup of tea with my cookie…or wait; make that champagne, at least then I'd feel like I was celebrating something! But no such luck that year, and the way things are going, most likely no such luck this year either. It's no fun to work during the holidays, or worse yet, not work at all and be at home alone. Unless you're a 10 year old boy named Macauley Culkin, who stars in his very own film, concocting mischief, then you sometimes just have to bite the bullet or bite the cookie in my case, and crunch your way into happiness…


In Trinidad & Tobago, Carnival is our biggest holiday/festival; we are a people of party and living each day as our last, we have the most calendar holidays in the world, topping off at 16, and although Carnival is what we live for; Christmas would have to be our close 2nd. From November, it's officially Christmas Season in Trinidad & Tobago, my people go all out! They purchase new furniture, or re-upholster their old ones, they sew beautiful curtains, they do a thorough cleaning, out with the old and in with the New Year quickly approaching and my people, they like to COOK! I wish I could say I took more time cooking with my Mummy, but for some reason, she and my sister always shooed me out of the kitchen. They like to do things fast, I prefer to enjoy the moment; I might add that I have some very impressive video of me dancing while mixing up and baking our infamous 'Black Cake'. I thought it tasted divine, and my little dance number, let's just say, it was the icing on the cake! – hahah. There are so many wonderful pastries, cakes, meals and drinks made during this time. Feeding our neigbours and friends is one of the gifts we like to give during Christmas. There are even songs we sing during this time about our food. There is one in particular; entitled 'Trini Christmas is the best' by Susan Macio that goes a little something like this:


"I met a mister, from Magarita, and he wanted to take me for dinner. I said dinner would be fiiiine, because now it's Christmas tiiiime…Ah give him bread and ham, together with a pastel, ginger beer, puncha crème and sorrel…He turn to me and say, Oh yes, Trini Christmas is de bess, is de bess, is de bess…"


People say that to listen to a Trini speak is like music itself; you see Calypso, which became quite popular in the 60's, with great names like Lord Kitchener and the Mighty Sparrow, who sang classical melodies with double meanings that made the hardest of hearts, smile and sing along too. You don't need a Celine Dion or Andrea Botticelli voice to sing Calypso, anybody's voice with a little melody and fine story will do. Another immense part of a Trini Christmas would have to be PARANG! It's when we sing our Christmas carols/songs in Spanish. There are many influences in Trinidad & Tobago, Spanish, French, British, Scottish, Dutch, East-Indian, African, Syrian and Chinese, but during Christmas time, despite our backgrounds, religions or languages, we enjoy bringing out our banjos and maracas, and visit house to house, with the gift of music.


This year, I am not in my rainforest paradise for Christmas. I am very alone, and very without family, loved ones, and/or Trini Parang and food. But I must still be grateful, thankful for what I do have; one can only sleep so long in a day to try to speed up the time, one can only wallow in depression for so long and then one has to wake up! With life there is impermanence, and that means that everything lasts for just a moment. Now may be depressing for some, lacking the love of family, friends and food for Christmas; but this too shall pass, and another year and another Christmas will commence. It is only an experience to make the next Christmas that more sacred and special. We are here now, and must go through this experience, and smile knowing, yes indeed it's not what we expected or want, but yes indeed it won't last.


Surfing through face-book earlier today, I had the heartiest of laughs; you see everyone is sharing their magical moments, and commenting about how much shopping they're getting done, and about how wonderful their holidays are with their wifey or hubby, but one stood out for me amongst the rest; it read: "It's beginning to look NOTHIN' like Christmas…" And I shared his sentiments precisely because; it isn't quite cheery for everyone out there. This brings me to my favourite Christmas carol, and it would certainly have to be, O' Holy Night, originally a French song written by Placide Capeau in 1847. For me, it epitomizes the true meaning of Christmas.


"Fall on your knees and hear the angels' voices…", "A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…", "The King of Kings lay thus in a lowly manger…in all our trials, born to be our friend…" and "Truly he taught us to love one another…chains shall he break…" There are so many inspirational verses within this carol, that when you hear it, you can't bare but feel a little bit Christmassy, or for others who are alone, a bit sad. But listen to the words of this song, "Fall on your knees, and hear the angels' voices…" for without us being still/silent, and realizing the beauty of the night, or without us being humble and grateful for what we do have, then how shall we ever be guided by the angels, how can we hear what they say if we do not surrender from the pain/suffering/disappointments/trials like this one and let go of the noise and aching within our hearts.


For those alone this Christmas, or working like me, (having to wish everyone a wonderful holiday while wearing a bright red, jingling hat and a smile) meditate or 'crunch in' on this song …which is quite beautiful. Smile, for the life with which you do have, and know that you are never alone but surrounded by heavenly angels, who are rejoicing in your strength at this time, and realize that in the near future you will be surrounded by your family/friends/lover/future family too! J

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Dreams May Come



There are times in life when you 'just don't want to cry' but there are times in life when you 'just have to'. 'What Dreams May Come' is one of my favourite films, and I seldom watch it even though I own it and can watch it whenever I choose. It's an oldie' but a goodie', a 1998 Academy Award Winner for Best Visual Effects, Screen Play by Ron Bass, Directed by Vincent Ward, and played by Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Annabella Sciorra. This film is enormously satisfying with breathtaking cinematography and backdrop beauty, harrowing subject matter and genuine, heartfelt performances by its cast. It is about a love that goes beyond life and death, and a journey only the strong-willed could survive. This is a film I would recommend any day of the week, but beware it may rip you up inside.


I feel like it's 'just what the doctor ordered' for me. Here are some of the wonderful quotes from the film, and then I will leave you with my final thoughts:


"It ends when you want it to"


"It will move when you want it to"


"You choose what you want to see"


"You're in your house right now. That doesn't mean you are your house. If your house falls down, you get up and you walk away…just rebuild"


"Thought is real, physical is the illusion"


"When you do, you will"


"…you don't have to break in half to love somebody…"


"Sometimes you have to decide to move on…or not"


"Don't punish yourself, say what's in your heart…then let go"


"Don't lose your mind. Don't let her reality become yours, you might never come back"


"When you're dead, you disappear"


"This is a one-way ticket for me. My hanging around here…is not helping you, and its killing me. So today is kind of a D-day. D for decision"


"Look what happens when you don't say anything for a month"


"Good people end up in hell, because they can't forgive themselves…well, I forgive you"


"Travel here is like everything else. Close your eyes and you're there; once you know where you're going"


"What's true in our minds is true, whether some people know it or not"


"I cannot be you…so I've left you alone, but please, don't give up on life okay…I love you"


"I'm sorry for the all the things I cannot give you"




These are only a handful of the many brilliant and positive quotations sprinkled throughout this film. It certainly is close to the philosophy I try to live by, and although it is somewhat of a tragic film, stunning beauty is what emerges every time. As I mentioned in my earlier 'review' on the film 'Charlie St Cloud', don't live life as a dead person. You have to feel, and go through these feelings to be a tender, wise, stronger and enriched individual. Shake off the sadness, helplessness and weak moments; a wonderful person I care about once told me, "You are stronger than you think!" And that's right, we are stronger than we sometimes believe ourselves to be, although it hurts now, know that something bright and divine is only around the corner.




I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from this film, which goes:




"Sometimes when you lose…you win!" J

Charlie St. Cloud



I hadn't seen 'High School Musical' and personally, I couldn't understand how a boy bursting into song and dance in a High School, was grounds enough to have his very own wax figure at Madam Tussauds. But still, this is America, and even reality stars who do nothing but complain about their life while using foul language, become famous. I was becoming increasingly curious though about Zac Efron, because he had flown with us a couple months prior, and my roommate (also a flight attendant) who doesn't like many people, let alone celebrities, spoke about how down-to-earth and polite Zac was on his flight. To top things off, since we'd been playing his new film, 'Charlie St Cloud' on all our Western-bound flights this month, I witnessed grown men gushing with the water-works while watching the film.


Hmmm…could he really be that good? To put on a performance believable enough to make grown men blubber like babies? I had to investigate, or in other words, analyze and critique the hell out of this film!


And now that I've seen it, and have wiped away the tears; I can speak about it honestly now too. Despite the fact, that Zac Efron has indeed grown up, with muscles bulging out from all the right places, he is, I repeat, he is, a decent actor. This film was not the typical fluff-film that you see Jennifer Aniston or Bradley Cooper act in, every other month; this was a solid, awe-inspiring and charming story about family, about love, about death, and about finding yourself and living again.


It was a beautiful ride. Not only do I love the sea, growing up in the Caribbean and enjoying water activities and outings with my family on my uncle's yacht. I have always dreamed about going out on a sailboat. I find it seemingly soothing, and even romantic in a sense, and look forward to experiencing it one day soon. Zac played the role of Charlie St Cloud, a big brother, man of the house, and also an esteemed competitive sailor. Although he played alongside Sam, played by Charlie Tahan as well as Amanda Crew who played Tess, I felt as though he had the bulk of emotional and somber moments. I can see now why they refer to him as the next Leonardo Di Caprio. Not only does he have a slight resemblance to the actor, but he also has a developing and respectable talent already.


The film's message is what touched me the most though; which I feel the Director Burr Steers and writer Ben Sherwood expressed in that, sometimes in life, things happen to us that break us down so badly, that we become so wrecked that we seemingly live life, as if we are dead. We are bitter, negative, un-happy and just get by day to day existing. But we must remember that with life, there is hope, and whatever we are brought to, doesn't kill us, but makes us stronger. We must live again! We must love again! We must trust again!


That reminds me of a little poem I used to recite as a small girl, which goes:


What is the use of sunlight, without the sky above?


What is the use of living, without someone to love?




With life, we have responsibility and we have 2nd chances for a reason. We go down dark paths that shake us up a bit in order to achieve other things, or put us on different paths. Sometimes these experiences are prerequisites or gifts for what we truly deserve, and/or rewards for all our good behavior. It may not seem like that at first, but soon you begin to understand, and later, the truth is revealed to you. Don't stay dead, when you're alive. Remember, the beauty, the laughter, the love you receive, and know that it will come again, and maybe it has come already, but you're afraid of taking a chance. Take that chance…it is the only way to truly live again. J

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Having so much fun learning French fluently; and watching old French films is also a lovely and fascinating treat! Mmmm....

You are Everything, without what you think you need the most. ~ By Jair Ananda Massiah

Rebirth



I figured 'Rebirth' would be a good title, as opposed to 'After-birth', which sounds a bit slimier, don't you think? Anyway, I want to speak about Rebirth. We are in the thick of the Christmas Season right now, and perhaps for many of you, Christmas has no sentimental meaning, or because of your staunch religious beliefs, you believe that your way is the only way or right way; or perhaps you don't believe in anything at all and refuse to be a part of any celebration; or maybe still you just think any holiday is an excuse to become a raging consumer. Any one of these excuses could be brilliant, I've heard them all; but they're still only excuses given from people afraid to experience or celebrate different things in life. Here's one, "I don't feel in the Christmas spirit, because it is about family, and gift-giving and I don't have either one."



Firstly, as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, 'Gifts', Christmas, or any other holiday for that matter, isn't only about wrapping up things you buy in stores, but instead about sharing, loving, showing and helping your fellow man. Your presence with each other is the real gift; and life in general is the ultimate gift. Secondly, Christmas is the remembrance of the Christ-child (Prophet Jesus, the Messiah) who was born in a humble manger and later grew up to perform miracles and teach us lessons beyond the life that we see, and ultimately die for our sins. This is what Christmas truly is about; the memory and celebration, as well as cooking, cleaning, laughing and sharing stories with your family and loved ones.




Shortly after Christmas, comes the New Year! The New Year and New lease on life! A fresh start, a Rebirth if you will; of hope, optimism and promise. During this time of year, one also has the retrospect of the year's events and lessons, the obstacles, the un-kept resolutions, and also the things he/she has indeed accomplished. I had the pleasure of speaking with a dear friend from my country this morning and in doing that I was able to arrive at a significant epiphany and even joy from such a sinister situation. My friend is currently going through therapy after being hurt from a dreadful car accident. This reminded me also of another friend who a year ago also was the victim of a terrible car accident, and lastly reminding me of the car accident I had during this year as well.




I realized then, that in each instance there were varying amounts of damage, whether it be to the car, to the body, our even our mental state of mind. One friend had brain damage, a year ago and didn't even remember who I was when I went to visit. One is undergoing therapy and is slowly recovering by re-strengthening of the limbs. And well, the other, being myself besides bruising and bleeding from shattered glass is still dealing with unbelievable paper-work. Each of us are going through changes. We may see them as obstacles or problems, but in reality, we are going through changes for a clearer and better view and enjoyment of life. We are engaging in a re-birth of sorts. We must not become bitter, terrified, or jaded, but instead resilient.




Car accidents aren't the only problems we go through in life, and probably aren't the only problems we go through in life at one point in time. Sometimes it's the whole lot of problems piled up high, one on top of the other, weighing us down and leaving us overwhelmed. But just remember that things break down, or situations change, or obstacles and problems occur, when the Universe/God wants to make changes in our lives for the better. We may not be aware of it right away, but it is either to teach us a lesson, or it happens to allow other things to happen so that we can be more focused on what it is we really need to be attending to. Whatever you lose in life, be it money, belongings, friends, lovers, or material objects, we are losing it because it has changed us, blinded us, or is not good for us. Trust the Universe when you go through these changes, you are about to receive new and better things in your life.




So ask for guidance, and for your unseen angels to steer you and lead you where you need to be. Go bravely and without question, keep doing the right things and trust your intuition, just remember, for heaven's sake; BUCKLE-UP! J It's a bumpy, safari ride, or as I like to say, an Adventure! J



Men Who Stare At Goats



This 2009 BBC and Overture film was written initially by Jon Ronson, screenplay adapted by Peter Straughn, and directed by Grant Heslow, was a lovely story about starting again and being literally warriors of peace. Despite the absolute comedy within the film, it undoubtedly dealt with some hard-hitting ideals and issues armies and soldiers have had to deal with throughout the beginning of time. It teaches us what Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela tried to teach us, that we should use non-lethal weapons so that we do not repeat the cycle of violence, because the more we use it, the more we in fact harm ourselves.


Our actors George Clooney, who plays Lynn Cassidy, Jeff Bridges as Bill, Ewan McGregor as Bob Wilton and Kevin Spacey as Mr. Hopper, played the main characters that gave the already hard to belief truth an un-tamed hilarity which the audience I'm sure enjoyed the ride. Funny phrases and moments like when George Clooney and Ewan McGregor says to an Iraqi man, "We're Americans we're here to help you!" right before knocking him over; or the dance number with George Clooney and Jeff Bridges in the company of other 'New Earth Army' officers, or the fact that they kept calling the Iraqi fellow Mohammed, although several times he exclaimed that his name was Maud. There was always something to make you laugh out loud.


The main messages throughout the film though were what made the film special beyond all the mirth because it's always the message that filmmakers hope the audience will take away. It taught us that there are no accidents in life that everything that happens, happens for a reason. That there are always bad apples in the bunch; be it American, Iraqi, or any other nationality. That if your marriage doesn't work out, there are other plans for you; and that now more than ever we need the power of the Jedi (whatever it is that Jedi means to you).


Both Paul Lister and George Clooney where the producers on this film, and I am certain they had a wicked time making it! I find that people are so lucky to be able to partake in such an exquisite thing as working and engaging and helping to bring the story/vision/message to the world, through film. And wonderful too, to be able to dance to music like "More Than a Feeling!" J

Rachel Getting Married



A 2009 Sony Pictures classic starring the infamous Anne Hathaway was an intense and quirky drama, written by Jenny Lumet and directed by Jonathon Demme. Hathaway isn't my most desired actress, but she sure is fortunate enough to re-invent herself and do a pretty darn good job at doing it; her performance in this film remarkable.



This film gave a wonderful point of view of the main character, Kym, but also the viewpoints of her entire immediate family as well as extended family. It was heart wrenching most times and Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt and Bill Irwin sprayed us with the entire range of human emotions.



Often times I found the un-structuredness and pandemonium of music throughout rather distracting, however it ties in with the atmosphere of the mental turmoil the family had to deal with. It seemed more so like a documentary because of the camera techniques, which also shed a more intimate sensitivity. I really enjoyed the palpable life and warmth I got from this independent picture; it worked excellently with the non-big-name-actors sprinkled throughout, the missing teeth, and no make-up sort of feeling, that I always admire in foreign films. It wasn't about how beautiful he or she looked under this light, but more about the story, as ugly and as inevitable as it was.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Messiah



Intro:

Selassi I (God)
They rised against me and the valley of the shadow of death
I shall not fret
They must think they can stop me
Song: Messiah
Chorus:
There is one man I fear, the Messiah
I'm a boy who believes in prayer
I stepped onto the battle field, without a shield
And all the shots were fired
And when I have no food and no water
Jah's (God's) love is never short
I'm speaking the truth
All this pain I feel
When they kill my son's and daughters

Verse 1:
Tell the dirty minds
The bad minds
To try and jump this fence
They will never succeed
Because to Jah I give praise forever
My basket is not empty
And enough times they've tried to tempt me
And I lived through it as far as I can see
They teamed up and tried to stop me
But what can they take from me?

Chorus:
There's one man I fear

That's the father
I'm a boy who believes in prayer
I stepped onto the battle field, without a shield
And all the shots were fired
And when I have no food and no water
Jah's (God's) love is never short
I'm speaking the truth
All this pain I feel
When they kill my son's and daughters

Verse 2:
Say what you want to say
Do what you feel
I'm not begging for friends, so we could never deal
So don't try to stop me from getting my meals
Or try to send me to the battlefield
Press what you want to press
And you can steal
Run where you want to run, as if you're a wheel
Then you can straighten up and see if you can feel
I'm a soldier, so I can never fail

Chorus
Repeat Verse 1
Chorus
[Translation of Jamaican dancehall ~ the best as I understand]
*Beautiful lyrics and song. – Grateful. Thank-you Jah-Jah. J




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Regrese



Listen to that little voice called your intuition, it never misleads you...


Attract. Ascend. Play.


Your goddess is alive and well -- practice loving, develop the skill, open your heart and your life will change, as your dreams tell you. Know that the Universe is on your side, and you're worthy of it. Continue to shine in divine brilliance...

Te Amo, Je t'aime, regresa a mi...

Painting: Return of Spring by William Adolphe Bouguereau

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I am You



"I am you, and you, are me, and so we are all connected, like the ripples on a curtain, or the rivers and streams that run into the sea; I am you, and you, are me." Great prophets left us these lessons to live by, saying "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." And, "Show compassion extending beyond borders and racial barriers of the world." I speak of this, because most times we let the ego take over and we forget our respect, we forget our dignity, we forget to be patient, we forget to be understanding, we forget to treat others as we would also like to be treated. I find, the world filled with hypocrisy; people say one thing, but mean the other, or they mean one thing, and do the other, or they are critical and judgmental of each other. It really saddens me; I have continuously lost friends because of this. We all have good days and bad days; we are human and therefore imperfect, although that in itself is perfect. I believe that true friends are able to communicate honestly with each other, and if they do see their friend acting indifferently, that the other is there to steer them right. It is not about using and taking and pointing fingers; and if you speak clearly and truthfully about a matter, then you would hope the other friend looks at what you have to say objectively and not with disdain or malice. For if you truly love your friend, then why would you want to hurt them? Would you want to hurt yourself?


But there is another great thing to remember, and that is that you should also treat yourself with love and respect; if you do not , then how will others do the same? Everybody is not going to like you or agree with what you have to say. Some people will be forever blind or brainwashed and that is not your fault; it is so because they are more focused on learning other things on their path, but in the end, it will all come together and hopefully make sense. So you express yourself, because you wish to be respected, loved, trusted, and of equal stature, and if you lose friends along the way because of this…well, maybe they weren't meant to be your friend in the first place. Let it go; as my grandmother always says, "Bless Everything!" The Universe/God /Creator will send you better friends to take their place.


And no matter how overwhelming a situation may seem, remember you aren't given more than you can handle. You are (smiling) stronger than you think you are, and you can be resilient and shine like you ought to. Stay on the path, never give up, and be forever and eternally grateful. For even with all the money, fast cars and racy women, without your health, without your family, without truth and purity, then, can you really ever be happy?


I was flying with a fellow flight mate recently, and she said while sailing with her husband and one of their mutual friends, that he was to inherit billions because of his father's mega-business soon because his father had died. Their friend had a son, and even with all the money in the world, he said to my flying partner and her husband, "Even with all this money, it still cannot save my son's life from leukemia."


Yes, we are fragile, and yet also so powerful. Be grateful, do the right things and walk with immense faith, and you will be as powerful as a lion's roar, but keep bitter thoughts, hurt others (which is actually hurting yourself), then realize that everything you have, you can lose or become naught, and you can break down just as the tallest man-made building could collapse in minutes…The most beautiful, one day becomes old, or could lose its beauty in a tragic accident. The most rich could be fortunate today and unfortunate tomorrow. The most pompous could be on top of the world today and could contract an incurable and crippling disease tomorrow. Respect, respect, love, love, treat others fairly, and be grateful for your many gifts. You're not where you want to be yet, and that's why it's called a journey, so enjoy it. Laugh out loud, say how you feel, breathe baby breathe, be guided by silence and your heart, don't settle for less and train your eyes to see beyond the glitter and really into the core of another's being, what is in the darkness will always come to light; and don't be afraid…you've waited your whole life for this! J The greater the pain; the bigger the glory, go through it and say, THANK-YOU! J


"I am you, and you, are me, and so we are all connected, like the ripples on a curtain, or the rivers and streams that run into the sea; I am you, and you, are me." – Jair Ananda Massiah

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Powerful



Tis' true that we only use about 10% of our brain, and true also that many of us become brainwashed by the reality television shows and millions of consumer products that bombard us in between those very programs. It's almost as if we were molded into an inferior and brain-dead type of race; that all we could offer to the world were silly phrases to express our moods and we would perform tricks on demand, dependent upon how badly we needed our next 'acceptable to society' fix. That may be the majority of us humans, and even if there are only about 10% who think differently, know that it's never too late to start.




Remember how powerful you are! You are able to achieve anything you want; literally. You can become who you want to be, go where you want to go, and find out all you need to know. We are surrounded with angelic help and heavenly wisdom always. We must trust ourselves and the Universe that we are worthy of the greatness of our dreams and of our desires. There is abundance for us all to enjoy. Feel free to be who you are and say what you want to say and be true to yourself. Forgive yourself if you make some mistakes along the way; know that there is no wrong way, but only ways of learning. If people do not respect your honesty and love, and you lose them along the way, they were never meant to stay in your life in the first place. Do not worry, the Universe will send you a replacement tremendously better than you could have imagined.




Your subdued memory will be revealed to you more quickly if you dedicate time in training yourself to listen within. When you are still and surrounded by nature is when it is heard loudest, it is when the unseen and unheard is able to proclaim the good news. Disclose secrets about you and tell you precisely the path that you must take. Your anxiety is replaced with calm, your anger with peace, your tears with bliss, and your worry to faith.




Again; you are powerful, and the products you buy, or the television shows you watch, and the clothes you wear, don't make you powerful. You, the exposed, bare and stripped down to the core, you, are powerful. You must journey on your own, you must become still by yourself, you must fall and dust yourself off before you are able to tap into the powerful being you are. You meet people along the way. Some you can't get rid of with a lifetime of lessons called family, some come for a moment to break you down, some are clearly earth-bound angels and some are gone much too soon, but each experience, each decision, each fragment turns your weakness into strength.




Don't be afraid anymore to be the true you. Don't be afraid to get what you really want. Don't be afraid to stop settling for less and live the life you see in your dreams. Your dreams are there for a reason, it is a memory, a message, a mirage that can only become authentic, if you'll only believe in the powerful being that you are! J





Gifts



I remember during the Christmas season as a child all that my sister, brother and I thought about were how many gifts we'd receive under our Christmas tree. We were always pleasantly surprised early on Christmas morning after scrambling out to count them. We were quite fortunate, and although Mr. Santa Claus never did get me the Rubix Cube I asked for every year, I still was grateful for all the other wonderful gifts I received. Now, whenever I'm at home with my family for Christmas, my siblings and I no longer scurry out to the Christmas tree, we're certain now that Santa won't forget what we asked for, after all he and my Daddy had a very good understanding, seeing we never had a chimney and they shared the same handwriting! J We knew now, our small family being split to all different corners of the world to achieve things that the time we spent together was much more valuable than any gift Santa could fit into a box!



I view Christmas and gifts in general in a completely different way now. I believe life every day is about gift-giving, we receive gifts at every moment. Whether it be a smile from a stranger, an epiphany, a witty comment given to you by your Improv partner, the most perfect song that plays when you need it, waking up alone in your warm bed to a smile from a John Lennon bill-board, or just this breath with which you breathe right now. We are blessed with gifts in every moment in life…constantly evolving and changing to become better individuals. Life is a gift. Change is a gift. Learning is a gift. Sharing your light is also a gift.



So even if you aren't as fortunate as many this year and must spend the Christmas holidays alone; like I will, know that this sacrifice too is a gift. Handsomely wrapped presents with pretty bows and name tags signed in red ink from Santa Claus shouldn't only mean the world to you. Think about what the real meaning of Christmas is about. About birth of a Christ, a person that came to suffer, teach us about the magic in life and ultimately return to where he came from after he was finished his journey. We too, could look at this time of year as a re-birth, another chance, a gift to be grateful and continue along our path, fresh into a new year with beautiful new revelations and exciting things to look forward to. Of peace, of understanding, of contentment, of laughter, of truth, of magic, of a wonderful new life given to you and if you become lost you can look above to the stars, like that one bright star that shone above the rest, showing the 3 wise men where to bear their gifts. So too, you also will be guided in the right direction to bear your gifts of the beauty you are and also to receive blessings beyond your wildest of dreams.



So keep the memory of your loved ones in your heart this Christmas, and pour out your love to those around you, those who know you, and those who would like to get to know you [hahah]…to everyone, especially the less fortunate, and light that candle, light your heart and let it *pop-*fizzle-*burn of gratefulness and love! J



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BELIEVE by Morgan Page

I caught a glimpse of the future

I thought a hint might do


Tick tock, few minutes to go

I should have seen the sign years ago

Tried to warn them it was coming

Tried to tell them what I'd seen


I saw the towers crumble

I saw the long distance thought

And I could see how you think I'm crazy

But you're the one with no sense at all


I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


The light of a dream


I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


In a layer in between

There is light and a dream

In a place tied to the past

I should have known that It'd never last


I saw the people rising

I saw the great vibe

And I could see how you think I'm crazy

But you're the one that tried to run and hide


I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


The light of a dream



I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


In a world gets lost and when it gets to be so heavy

How did they get the control?

Is there any way we can go?


Hold my heart in your hand

'Till you squeeze all you can

How you give me life to make me

Hold my heart and you save me


I want to, ooh, believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

Beyond the world that we know


I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


The light of a dream


I want to believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

World that we know


I want to, ooh, believe

In the light of a dream

Place that we'd go

Beyond the world that we know


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pain vs Pleasure


I've often pondered about suffering, and about how much is too much, or perhaps, what would be the right dosage for different kind of people. One of my heroes Mahatma Gandhi said that 'Suffering brings you to Greatness'; and also, 'You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind'. He was a man who stood up for his people peacefully. Another hero, Nelson Mandela, who said that ' There is no passion to be found planning small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living', and also, 'When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat'. He had to withstand 40 years in prison away from his family and life because he had to abide by unbelievable rules of people who had invaded his country. The great prophets themselves went through suffering before achieving the ultimate bliss/blessings. Jesus, the Messiah (my great,great,great,great,great x 100 great grand father :)) was mocked and belittled, stripped of his clothes and whipped and made to walk the streets wearing a plaited crown of thorns and carrying a heavy cross. He ended up being nailed to it in front of an entire community. Siddhartha, turned Buddha with a good enough upbringing, learnt about suffering and pain when he made his way out into the world, eating only a leaf a day and having a drink of water, only when it rained. Scoffed by his fellow friends on the path when he realized that life was about the middle path/way; and tempted when he was coming close to achieving Nirvana. And Mohammed, who was a diplomat, philosopher and person of divine action for his people, went through his own share of suffering, orphaned at an early age and worked hard most of his life as a merchant, until he completely surrendered his life to God/Allah and began having revelations about life.



We wonder then if pain and pleasure go hand in hand. One of my favourite, if not finest mythical poets from the 13th century, the Persian, Jalal al-Din Rumi, who later settled in Konya Turkey, wrote most attractively about life, yet he was able to also capture feelings of dread and doubt that often times went along with it. Khalil Gibran, also, from the East, but this time Lebanese heritage, spoke of truth within the Universe, saying that both pain and pleasure flows in the same stream together. For if we drink and have a merry time, however drink in excess, then we receive pain the next day and feel ill. So in other words we actually bring it upon ourselves. Therefore, perhaps we should always succeed carefully and cautiously and with a steady pace. On the other hand, if we did not feel pain, how would we strengthen or build our character? How would we purify ourselves and become more spiritual and soul-searching? We all strive for happiness, but would we be able to express ourselves fully if we didn't withstand pain and suffering?




I believe, based on my readings, lessons from my father and experiences in life, that after immense suffering and pain, one becomes happy to know of the maturity/strength and clear vision one is given after being able to withstand and or become resilient. It also gives you the opportunity to surrender and change your attitude because we achieve spiritual insight or spiritual truth.




So you may be in limbo, (by the way, just had to say that 'limbo the dance' was created in non other than the lovely twin-islands of Trinidad & Tobago J) and unsure of how long this amount of suffering will last. One hundred years is like one day in the spiritual/heavenly realm, therefore we must garner patience, there is no time-limit to success or adoration. Mr. Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment from 1964 to 1982. He was then moved to another prison until Febuary 11th 1990, when 4 decades later he was finally set free; and this man can still smile and have hope. He can still love people despite others that hated him so much and treated his people so badly. The sweet, meek , mild and jolly Dalai Lama is another great man who despite treachery, violence and betrayal of his people and his land, he is still able to show others genuine love and be of service to others which brings him joy. If they are able to have patience and belief in their dreams after such an extended amount of time,( in the Dalia Lama's case, he is still waiting), then who are we to complain and pout and stomp around.




Do not compare yourself to other people, whom in your eyes may be doing better than you are; everyone has their own path, and their own problems, therefore, be grateful for your path and your plan and have faith that you too will be able to achieve greatness.




I will leave you with a lovely little story I came across once, and I hope it is as effective for you as it was for me; feel free to include man/woman as you see fit; remember nothing in life is permanent, so enjoy:




THE STRAWBERRY STORY




A woman/man is running from a tiger that's chasing her/him. She runs through the woods until she gets to the edge of a cliff. The tiger is still behind her, so she climbs down a vine. The tiger reaches the top of the cliff and paces back and forth, licking its chops. Midway down the cliff, hanging onto the vine, she sees another tiger below her, pacing back and forth, licking its chops. As, she's hanging there, two mice come out and start gnawing on the vine. She tries to shoo them away but they won't go.




Just then she sees, growing out of the face of the cliff in front of her, a wild strawberry. She picks it and eats it. It's delicious.




According to Bhagavad Gita:




"The contacts of the senses with the sense objects give rise to the feelings of heat and cold, and pain and pleasure. They are transitory and impermanent. Therefore, [learn to] endure them, O Arjuna."




And Marquis De Sade:




"It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure."




"So the path may be treacherous, long and unfair, but during this daunting bit of voyage, you find beauty, truth, trust and love, which if you never made the journey, you would never know they in fact existed!" J -- By Jair Ananda Massiah.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jackie' Boy

I am grateful to know that whatever we go through or endure in life is towards our growth; I am also grateful to know that this year 2010 is almost over. [hahah] I know it sounds absolutely silly, but I seriously am appreciative of the lessons I've learnt, but looking forward to and expecting great new and exciting things. I know that in the future, resilience will be almost as a reflex action and understanding and patience is what follows. Remembering is wonderful and friends and family that continue to remind you and help you to tune in to the frequency of life here on earth.

I've known people who find it easier to spend time with their pets/animals rather than people; and others who've appreciated time by themselves as opposed to socializing or attending group events. I understand these people, as I too, as a child was painfully shy and much rather enjoyed reading and writing from the comfort of my favourite tree. It's alright to be different and of a gentler nature; the world at times, as well as many of our fellow peers tend to be harsh, callous and hypocritical; making our lives seem like a living hell. It is sometimes loads easier to immerse yourself with kind beings like animals or stories from books. But there are others who view the world as you do, according to the 'Desiderata', despite the world's sham and drudgery, it is still a beautiful world.

When you are embarking upon great things, the devils/enemies/evil spirits are let out to try to break your spirit. You must be strong and never lose sight of your goal, because it will soon happen, once you never lose sight of your ultimate vision.

I love the final scene in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, when 'Chief Bromden' played by Will Sampson finally believes in himself and garners the strength he always had within him to lift the heavy 'structure' and bust his way out of the mental institution. He said, "But Mac, you're bigger than me!" and my beloved Jackie boy, Jack Nicholson, who plays 'Randle P. McMurphy' responds by saying that he was the biggest man he'd ever seen. Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself to master your greatest feats/fears. And sometimes during tragedy and adversity it is then that you find yourselves and learn about yourself, more than you ever did.

Be conscious of the 'real' beauty around you; it is good to use your heart, but also wise to use your head, we only use 10% of our brains, if we use the 2 together, what magnificent beings we could become. The heart tells you the truth and gives you energy, and the brain gives answers and solutions. I often wished I could have a travel partner on my many journeys; and I hadn't escaped to explore this year, but I'm already planning out my travel itinerary for next year. New discoveries and re-discoveries are in order; and whether I'm alone or not, I expect great things! J

Remember, that there is a difference between 'nothing comes easy' and 'trying hard at something'; for when something is right, you enjoy the journey, there are no doubts and it is not a chore. If you are constantly hitting your head into a brick wall, in the sake of achieving something with little or no progress, then it is probably for a reason. When you try hard at something, but have an innate desire to achieve it, you will succeed when the time is right…

I would like to leave you with the words of the Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann 1927:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.


If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.


Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.


Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.


Strive to be happy.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sacrifice



While trying to reshuffle the heaps of books I own to decide which ones I should get rid of and which I certainly must keep; I happened to come across some old photographs in albums I'd tucked away and forgotten about. Instead of me chucking out these books and making my load of University text books, poetry books and inspirational books lighter, I ended up keeping all of them and instead becoming quite emotional while reminiscing over the "me" of 8 years old, and much younger than that. Surrounded by my beloved and late granny, my parents not always smiling from ear to ear as they had to keep the mischievous brood of my siblings and I together and also of my extended family and friends; how much I'd changed throughout these years, I'd thought. I tried to think back to those days and the difficulties I'd had then and how happy I was indeed as a child with quarter the worry I had now as an adult. All the smiles, all the laughter, the lush green and sandy bodies that were all squashed into that one square. Where did it all go, where did I go? I had left the nest and silky lucid sea to find a life of my own. To begin from scratch (literally), in a new, harsh, yet exciting new land and also one day begin a family of my own. I glared around my little room and frowned…I suppose I wasn't doing a very good job at the moment…


Then I thought of 'Sacrifice'… that even my successful parents and grandparents had to go through this before living a more comfortable or suitable life. Sure if I'd stayed at home I'd have more hugs and helping hands, but if I have the option to be the 'best me'; despite it being a more rigorous path, this would be the path that I would take. It's more of an adventure this way anyhow.


Sacrifice is undergoing un-appealing conditions and cutting back on comfort and material things we may enjoy to gain better sight or rewards by firstly conserving. In other words, it is similar to the life of a butterfly; in that most of its life it isn't gliding around happily in the wind, but instead a plump and wiggly caterpillar, having to chomp on leaves and find a safe place it could build a cocoon for itself. And even after all of this, the rewards do not come quickly, after it gorges itself and becomes overweight it must stay in that cramped space until the time is absolutely right and it is ready to transform into a dazzling butterfly! J


So too must we have sacrifice in our lives; for some it may be much easier, but then everyone has their own path and lessons to learn. For those of you that seem to make progress at a slower rate, it is alright…for you have more time to enjoy the journey while getting there. Each morning give thanks for the small things you are grateful for and smile through the 'not so great' days, because each morning you awake you are getting that much closer to your dreams taking flight too! J Once you do the right things, believe in yourself and keep your vision and goal in mind, you will most certainly get to your destination.


I will leave you with some words of wisdom by one of my favourite authors Wayne W. Dyer, who speaks about having patience with your dreams/aspirations.


"…the secret to being patient is in the certainty of the outcome. When that certainty is manifested in you in the form of trust and a knowing, you can then turn your thoughts away from the desired outcome. Without anger or anxiety, you are able to turn your attention to whatever it is that occupies your daily life schedule…"


"…Infinite patience produces almost immediate results in your life. You become free when you relax your insistence to have it now, and you increase your awareness that you actually do have it now, already, even though it may not have shown up as you would like it in your immediate surroundings…"


*** I felt compelled to say this – Know your true value and worth, what you deserve, and never settle. People that don't recognize and treat you as such; you shouldn't waste your precious time on them. Keep positive people around you, and people who know what they want out of life. Although it is important to respect others, have respect for yourself also. You're a beautiful being and you deserve that love from yourself too; practicing love and respect for yourself, shows others that they must treat you the same! Bless-up! – Jair J

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mr. Fix It





Most of you should know about 'Mr. Clean'; the name of a cleaning brand in the United States; and for those of you who don't, well it's one of the million brands of cleaning products, with the handsome cartoon smiling face of a man on the bottle. What most of you may not know is that in Europe, 'Mr. Clean' goes by the name 'Mr. Proper'! [Hahah] Same handsome animated character, but different name; hey, I'd be interested in them both! But how about we keep dreaming and add 'Mr. Fix It' to the mix? Well; let's envision now that you could 'Spray', 'Wait a few minutes' and then, 'Voila!' 'Problem Solved'. Just as Mr. Clean and Mr. Proper would properly clean up messes, Mr. Fix It' could do the same for your problems.



Pretty wild eh? I thought so…well, what if I told you, there was a Mr. Fix It! I see you shaking your head, but must you only believe in bottles and cans with handsome men promising you the world? How about a guaranteed love that would never leave your side? Instead of spray, just pray; people underestimate the power of prayer. People pray in many different ways, practice many different religions, and there is no one right way. It is only many different rivers to one ocean; many paths to one destination.



Offer up your burdens, do your best, let go, and let the magic work. Miracles happen every day, and I have been lucky to see them, you will too, they're right in front of you…waiting patiently for you to see the world with a new set of eyes. It may not happen instantaneously like a cleaning product spray does, but it occurs whenever the time is right…



"The more these painful stories are recalled and repeated, the more the person is guaranteed of not attracting his or her desires. Your biography becomes your biology." – Wayne W. Dyer

Your Love



Roses are red, Violets are blue, I know it ain't Valentine, but I'm still so much in love with you.


Roses are red, Violets are blue, Even the Pope wouldn't believe, how much I adore you.


Roses are red, Violets are blue, your walk, your talk, your aroma, Everything baby, my heart only races for you! J


Just some silly yet cute poetry to let the one I love know that I still care. Yes, you…you know who you are! [hahah] My doux-doux, my darling, my stud-muffin!


Well I can love as much as I want, but the love that I know I'll always have and am grateful for; is the love of the Universe. Ask and it is given; search and you will find truth; fall and you will get back up again. I couldn't be more in love with the perfection despite the rough moments and intricacy to the way this world works. Sure the terrible times are terrible, you wish you could just fast forward or rewind to what feels better, but we go through these moments, like those of a mischievous child playing with fire, to know that, "It's not good for you…", "Stop doing that…", "Trust me, I know what I'm telling you…", "Look at this brilliant sunshine instead…" Not only is it all sparkly and bright, but it won't burn you if you try to touch it and it gives you Vitamin D also! J


For the past couple weeks back out to class; I'd been feeling a bit 'bummed out'. My fellow classmates, talented and self-assured of their craft, having years of experience, or in other cases, having all their time to dedicate to their craft, made me feel hollow inside. My acting coach told me that he found me quite charming and sweet; even saying that I expelled a purity and innocence; but that I had to be dedicated 100% to my characters. My classmates laughed and if I could turn red…I probably would turn crimson. Some classmates even went so far as to say…"Yea, I haven't been that innocent, since I was like 4 years old!" Ha-Ha! Not very funny! But I took it; didn't make me feel better, but I knew I had to keep at this.


My professor said, "You're not mad enough!" and "You're not sad enough!" I got pretty close at times, but seemed to always fall flat on my face. What was I missing? What couldn't I understand? I knew I had to dig deeper…I knew that I had to seriously separate 'the Jair' from 'the actress'. I began to realize to be successful at this, I had to no longer combat between the 2; I had to become only 1, for that moment and truly be vulnerable and tell the story and be the voice that these characters wanted to share.


I pretty much had come to the end of my rope, and although I had come up with justifications on why it was difficult for me to let go, I still was at wit's end as to how my performance would really improve…I couldn't give up though and instead of practicing the lines silly, as I would usually do, as an alternative I searched within and prayed for release.


Being an actor is quite a vulnerable position to be in; and I have new-found love and continuous respect for the 'authentic' actors out there; like Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Emma Thompson, Merryl Streep and Jack Nicholson to name a few. They truly embody what it means to completely transform into a disturbed character. Everyone has their strong points and then there are areas where some need more work in. My problem area certainly was anger as well as crying/sadness; I could pretend, but not very convincingly, I had it in me; but didn't care to share it with the world, or in front of anybody for that matter! Gratefully I was able to let go of the 'innocent, proper and lady-like' Jair and truthfully personify my character's pain.


It felt wonderful, liberating, and tremendously satisfying! I am capable, I do have potential and I may not be as advanced as my classmates, however I was making progress by leaps and bounds; pretty astounding for a girl in her 2nd year of taking classes and working day to day outside of her field of study. I love moments like these when you realize that everything is okay and whatever it is you are going through is not in vain. Your love, your dedication, your loyalty, your respect, your dreams are all valid. My teacher said my work that night was 'brilliant', but it wasn't just his words, I felt brilliant for being able to finally connect and be the voice of that girl's pain…


I'm heading in the right direction and it's all because of 'Your Love', 'Your Guidance' and 'My Belief/Faith' that I can be the best I can be because my desire out-weighs my fear…


And now, the song that my darling brother was playing non-stop whenever he was at home; the song that we danced silly to (but looked pretty damn' good doing it); the song that I have now been playing non-stop since returning to the California…'Your Love' and 'Yuh Love' à The Remix! J


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSFyrrhKj1Q&feature=related


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wQLSsLVlt4

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trust



I've been wanting to write about the theme of 'Trust' for a while now, but I wasn't quite sure how I could go about it. For me it is a lesson I've learnt recently; and even if I do have short spells of doubt that invade my mind, because of my lesson I am able to shake it off much more quickly than ever before. Trust is a massive thing we humans deal with throughout our life; if we didn't have it then we could never feel comfortable or at ease with others. We hope we can trust our doctors to do a good job at stitching us up right. We hope we can trust our parents to make the right decisions on raising us right. We hope we can trust our friends to be there for us when we need them the most. We hope for many things from people; however many times friends, family and loved ones let us down. It may not be their intention, but they disappoint, be-little, betray, and sometimes literally make our life a living hell. Because of this dis-trust, it is more difficult to believe the person a 2nd time or trust or be nice to new people that may enter our lives. It is like the story of 'The Boy who Cried Wolf'; where time and time again people were sympathetic and empathetic with the boy's pleas, each time realizing that it was for the own boy's good that he learn his lesson on his own, instead of playing with people's emotions. We should always treat people the way we wish to be treated…


There have been quite a few times in my life where I have been swindled, trapped, played with and upset beyond recognition; in turn creating within me heightened suspicions and disbelief of anyone entering my life, claiming to add positively to it. I learned that you could never judge a book by its cover though and that whatever you may be thinking about somebody, you're most likely wrong. It is better to practice that everyone is innocent until proven guilty; and when they are proven guilty; forgive them, for they know not that they are in fact harming themselves more than they hoped to hurt you.


There is a saying that goes: "Forgive a person not 7 times, but 77 times…" and another which states: "And if someone slaps you in the face, turn and give them the next cheek…" These are certainly noble and wise statements, however after someone has continuously shown you an ugly side of them, even after you have tried multiple times to make things better, then I believe you should forgive them, and let go. It is not good to keep vexations or negativity around you…it is not good for your soul or your happiness! Forgive, be civil, but do not entertain people who aren't genuine or loving to you in your life. You can never force someone to do anything they aren't ready to; only they can change themselves…do your best and know that one day it will be resolved; in the mean time, continue living the best you can!


I have learnt that with people trust is questionable but that the love from the Universe/Creator/God is the one that we can always count on and feel secure in. Trust in the Universe is closely related to having faith that whatever seems impossible is possible and whatever seems too heavy a burden becomes light as a feather. Sometimes life becomes turbulent to make way for greater things to come into our lives. Through the greatest tragedy, change takes place to give birth to new beautiful people and things in our lives…the Universe/God wants the best for you in your life and when things become sour in different aspects of your life, it is a means of getting rid of toxicities so that you are able to rediscover a better you! Whatever is in the darkness must come to light and it is usually for a very good reason; to remove your blindness so that you can stare widely into splendid and magnificent pure light! J


To find truth, it is as difficult as for blind men to try to describe the real form of an elephant by touch… and this leads me to a darling Buddhist fable that goes like this:


"…Once upon a time a king gathered some blind men about an elephant and asked them to tell him what an elephant was like. The first man felt a tusk and said an elephant was like a giant carrot; another happened to touch an ear and said it was like a big fan; another touched its trunk and said it was like a pestle; still another, who happened to feel its leg, said it was like a mortar; and another, who grasped its tail said it was like a rope. Not one of them was able to tell the king the elephant's real form.


In like manner, one might partially describe the nature of man but would not be able to describe the true nature of a human being…"


In other words, I believe that it is only in the Universe/God that you could safely but all of your trust in, for positive deliveries every time. For even though you may be walking on un-stable ground, and you do not even know where you are going or how you can go on; you can have trust to know that all you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and ground will appear… problems will be fixed or eliminated, burdens will be lifted and joys and love will be recovered if you just keep your faith and 'trust' alive….and keep on walking…J

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween



I don't feel the least bit disappointed that I have nothing special planned for my most beloved holiday since residing in the United States; that lovely holiday being 'Halloween'! Perhaps because I won the title of 'The Scary Story Champion' 2 times in a row now; or perhaps because even though I don't get to wiggle my bum in costume with many other well-dressed horrific characters, I have my wonderful selection of scary films to keep me company. I've always loved scary stories; and I'm not speaking of gory and animalistic attempts to scare someone with fake blood spewing everywhere, because they do nothing for me. I'm speaking about Stephen King, the Emperor of classic horror tales, and those types of stories that grandparents would tell to their grandchildren. Spine-tingling stories that bring tears to your eyes because of the sheer terror they instill within you!


My grandparents never told such stories; neither did my parents. I had to discover and search for thrilling and terrifying excitement on my own. And did I ever find it!? There are specific elements key to telling a successful scary story, and I do believe (not to sound boastful) that I've found it. Many actors wouldn't fancy in the least to act in a horror film, but for me, it would be a dream! I'm not saying I won't also enjoy doing more solid, dramatic and inspirational pieces, because that is what drives and arouses audiences; however to star (not die right at the beginning) in a frightful film, would be such a brilliant thing!


At first I didn't understand the whole unlucky 13 thing here in America; realizing in every elevator, there never is a 13th floor available to disembark, but after seeing 'Nightmare on Elm Street' with Freddy on Friday the 13th; things made a little more sense. I doubt though that architects, government and un-superstitious people would base their everyday life on a film though; so I may still need to investigate further.


Recently in my acting class, it was phenomenal! Every Halloween class is like that! We learn several techniques needed for filming horrific scenes. Like being on both the receiving and giving end of being shot, strangled and stabbed. To play dead (literally acting as though you're dead – close shot/long shot), and acting as zombies. As if this thrill isn't enough, we act out a scene in a scary movie, running away while being chased by the killer, and the grand finale of sitting in a circle and telling our most scary story. Most students don't put in a lot of effort. Some find stories from the internet, others use ones they've heard over and over again. For me I take it seriously and I rack my brain for a week, wondering what I could do differently this time. During our 'scary story circle session' the boys laugh, and the girls are usually too scared to give their fullest potential. But me… J I go to the maximum level of fear and I thoroughly enjoy doing so…


Most people enjoy Roller Coasters, and Water slides, falling and sliding so fast, the heart doesn't have time to catch up with the body. I don't find this fun at all; in fact on my last roller coaster ride, I swear I was so afraid I couldn't even scream. My form of scary excitement is definitely horror/scary stories…for these are more genuine, when you're able to tap into that part of a person's brain that makes them think and have respect for things they don't always necessarily can touch or feel.


Most people will shudder to know that I spent my night after class happily chomping away on chocolate and a glass of red wine in celebration of my 'scary story win'. But I damned well deserve it! And although I am awake till the wee hours of the morning after a good scare I know I can pop in a DVD like 'White Chicks', 'The Office' (don't own it yet), 'Fraggle Rock' or 'Popeye' to take my mind off things! ;) Just all in a day's work during the Halloween season! J