Friday, August 27, 2010

Eat Pray Love

I remember seeing several passengers on my flights with a copy of this novel in their hands while I whizzed through the aisles with my beverage trolley and I remember thinking, 'Pretty cover, but seriously I'm doing a service here and these people should at least look up from their books so I don't have to continuously repeat myself'. Then I remember hearing that Oprah added it to her list of 'Books you must read because I'm Oprah selection', (not that I watch Oprah, it's just sometimes I surf through the television channels in my hotel room and mysteriously the battery to the remote decides to die when landing on her show); I remember also talk about them turning this paperback, into a film. Wow! Kudos to Elizabeth Gilbert (whoever she was)! I wasn't interested at all still to read or watch the movie. I thought, I'm not into fiction anyway; besides, I much rather read inspirational/self-help/mystery/horror novels. But that just goes to show how funny the Universe is…anytime you say, "I'll never, I won't, I'm not interested, or 'as if'", that's when the Universe gives you precisely what you didn't ask for. You see, it doesn't understand all the words really (especially since it has to understand all the languages not only on planet earth, but the entire Universe), it just knows that when you say something with conviction then you must want that brought into your life.

So, here it is I'm at home in my beautiful twin-islands of Trinidad & Tobago, celebrating my birthday with Daddy dearest and my Super Mumsita and I unwrap one of my gifts excitedly to find 'Eat Pray Love'. Great! Now I have to read it. I look up at my parents with a quizzical face that says, 'Really?' And they tell me that they've heard great things about this book and thought I might want to read it before the movie comes out. I smile and cleverly shove it aside to open my next non-feeling-like-a-book-gift.

Weeks later, literally shoved back into work and busy America, I'm faced with a depression that had no right to bother me in the first place. It just showed up uninvited and turned my lovely world into darkness. I was lonely and alone once again and I didn't feel like reading my self-help books at the moment I feared I'd slash my grand collection with the rage ensuing within my heart. So, I had no choice, I dug 'Eat Pray Love' out from under my collection of books I may want to read at the side of my bed, opened it up and read it. The book is 445 pages with medium-small text and I swallowed it up in just 2 days. My, what a heart-warming, honest, and friendly book! I say friendly because I felt as though Elizabeth was my friend, and what I didn't know was that it was a true story, so it turned out to be inspirational after all.

Now I can say that I've read the book and watched the movie and although it may not be my most favourite novel or film, I can safely say that it touched me in a positive way and I can honestly see why and how it touched people all around the world too. I burst into tears, I was angry at some points, I was happy at the end too. I always love happy endings. Gosh! They're the best aren't they?!

The book was better than the movie – I know some people are rejoicing because they think 'every' book is better than the movie, but I'm not one of those people. The book just had so many more intricacies and reality than Hollywood could box into an hour and a half of film. I enjoyed the film too, don't get me wrong, because seriously, how many films give you a grandiose view of a Welsh man's perfect bum? All in all, directors try to portray as best as they can the highlights and most of the message when turning books into film and I must say they did a first-rate job. There were some moments where I think they should have done more explanation, more narration as Elizabeth's novel did; which made you connect more with the main character, like when Giovanni walked her home and she wished for a kiss from him because it was so romantic, even though she wasn't 'in-love' with him, or perhaps added the details about the sly behavior of Wayan towards Elizabeth, or mention that Tutti had 2 adopted sisters. The added scenes of the Indian wedding and twisting of relationships in the film actually worked. I found the meditation scenes quite funny; as I myself struggle with my thoughts, but after watching this I am more determined to use my 'alone' time to master my learned techniques. I also can't get S' Wonderful by Joao Gilberto out of my head either....sigh** such beautiful music.

I must admit Julia Roberts did a great job at looking like a 'pretty woman' on screen (no pun intended), and believably ugly enough too during her countless crying scenes. I've discovered that suddenly James Franco isn't so attractive to me anymore…Hmmm… rather strange. And Javier Bardem did a marvelous job as always; now he's undeniably Hollywood material, not only can he play scary villain characters but also a delightful leading romantic man; He is now indisputably a household name.

Cinematic moments that made my heart soar were:

When your life is in ruins, it's only a transformation towards something better.

The only way for you to love again is to trust again.

Sometimes when falling in love you lose your balance, but it's the only way you can truly be balanced.

Sure, it's all about love, when is it not about love? Doesn't it truly make the world go round; Love conquers all. Lucky to those who have it! Humph! j/k. But on a serious note, this was one woman's journey to find her heart and to find peace and balance and yes…Love within her life. And she found it alright; everybody's path is different, some people don't have Hollywood happy endings, and some people don't have the luxury to travel to exotic lands for lengthy amounts of time. But I think the true message is to find that balance within your life and not remain in something unhealthy for you just because you miss someone, or you want things to work, or you're accustom to conveniences you're not ready to give up; that's not a good enough excuse for your happiness and freedom to be the best you! You also don't have to travel the world in search of it, as I am actually guilty of doing, sometimes what you need is right under your nose, as I've found out, after chasing after it all around the world and having it lead me right back to where I started.

Be true to yourself and never settle, you deserve a better you, understanding, happiness, truth, sharing, trust and everlasting friendship. You're not in control of many things in life, but you are in control of how enjoyable you make your destiny. Who do you want to journey with? J

I will leave you with some words of one of my favourite tunes, which probably has nothing to do with the novel or movie, but I love it and feel obliged to share…Enjoy! It's entitled 'La Foule' by the beloved and late Edith Piaf:

I see the city again at a festival, delirious,

Suffocating in sun-drenched merriment

And I hear shouts and laughter amidst the music

Which breaks out and bounces all around me

And lost among these people who jostle me

Dizzy, distressed, I stay there.

When suddenly I turn, he draws back

And the crowd throws me into his arms

Carried away by the crowd which drags us,

Carries us off.

Squashes us against each other

We form one body

And the effortless stream pushes us, chained to one another.

And leaves us both expansive, intoxicated, happy.

Dragged along by the crowd which dashes forward and dances a mad farandole.

Our two hands stay joined and sometimes raised

Our two bodies entwined fly off and we both fall back

Expansive, intoxicated, happy.

And the joy radiating from his smile.

Pierces me and bursts forth from my depths

But suddenly I cry out amidst the laughter

When the crowd starts to tear him from my arms

Carried away by the crowd which drags us

Pulls us along, pulls us far from each other

I fight and struggle

But the sound of his voice is muffled by the laughter of others.

I scream in pain, fury and rage and I cry.

Carried away by the crowd which dashes forward and dances a mad farandole.

I am carried away far off

I clench my fists, cursing the crowd that stole

The man it gave me, whom I will never find again…

[You bring me to life, I like who I am when I'm with you, but if you don't need me anymore, I'll transform with grace because of the memory you'll hold in my heart…always…Love you my darling, doux-doux!] J

I do believe it's time to put on my 'Brazilian Lounge' CD and do a little twirling and dancing! J

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letting Go

Isn't it funny how some people come into your life with such extraordinary force that it knocks the breath out of you, tickles you upside down and floods your psyche? Isn't it funny also, how when they're done getting what they need, helping themselves to heaps of your energy, they seem to just disappear without even saying good-bye? They claim they're just busy, busy with life, busy with things working perfectly again, busy with moving one up, super Mario style. It makes you wonder if they were your real friends at all.

Any time you feel that you are unappreciated or that you always have to make that phone-call or you seem to be always the one reaching out; then it is quite obvious it is a one-sided relationship. You deserve better… you deserve people that care about you, that recognize your value and worth, that simply value your being.

Forgive them for treating you like this…most times they themselves aren't aware of their juvenile actions. Most times they are still on a path of only satisfying themselves, people that are self-absorbed and not humble. Have compassion for these people; be grateful that you were able to make a positive impact on their lives. Let them go; because they've clearly let you go.

Forgive yourself now; you did the right thing. You shared your thoughts, your life, and your positivity, you shared your world to benefit that person. You were a gem, as lovely as the moon glistens on midnight water. You did nothing wrong… Let go.

Perhaps they will realize one day… or perhaps they won't…but at least you did the right thing… J Maybe one day you'll be rewarded a 'happy-ending' too. I got a wonderful compliment from a new friend I'd made recently, sharing stories on the aircraft on my way to Los Angeles. He said to me: "You deserve somebody who deserves you ... and if they can't see it, then it's their loss... the guy you marry will never get bored!" :) Thank-you Yannick!


So some people say you've got the strength of a tiger…I think they really mean you're a freak of nature. Others say you have a great energy about you; they really mean you can't keep still if your life depended on it. People say I'm like a lovely fire-fly; but do they really mean I have the temper of a dragon? It's one thing to think of yourself as one thing, but others may see you as something completely different; and if it's the majority that agrees then you should take a step back and pay attention.

Too few parents take their children to etiquette classes and they end up raising (or lack thereof) little goblins and trolls. They don't know how to say 'please' or 'thank-you' or sit with their legs closed or sit still for that matter. A bloody shame really at raising little animals! I'm not saying that conformity, assimilation or domestication is the way, but learning about how a table should be set for dinner, how tightly to grip a hand when giving a handshake and learning an extra language or two, traveling and learning about how different people live couldn't be seen as a bad thing.

It's been said that it is wise to be a master of your thoughts, a master of many things but mostly the master of your thoughts, because if you manage to control and regulate that you'd be a much more stable person. I am trying my best, still after recently approaching my latter 20's to master them. Let's say I'm ½ way there…it's kinda' fun sometimes to just lose it and live the life of a telenovela' sometimes, it keeps things interesting you know… J But seriously, giving into your thoughts, especially those nasty, deadly ones will bring you nothing but despair. To control your thoughts, one needs to follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Breathe

Step 2: Do Yoga = breathing while stretching

Step 3: Meditate = breathing while not thinking

Hmmm…not that easy eh? Another theory I've heard of thoughts and emotions is that it all comes down to the glands. Yes, your liver, or your heart, or your thyroid etcetera. If you take care of them, then you won't be the usual nervous wreck, you won't be as flighty, and you won't be as insensitive. So eat right, check up with the doctor and see what kind of pills you might want to start popping to regulate them. Then if they're in regulation, then you shouldn't have irregular unhealthy thoughts and then you won't have problems keeping your emotions in check.

Another thought, as you can see I have many. What about the horoscope or astrology; as some of you may already know Fortune Tellers and Tarot Card readers can tell tremendous things about people based on the lines on your hands, or the month you were born. Is she Virgo, is he Leo, is she Aries, is he Cancer? There are surprisingly many similarities with personality traits based on what sign you're carrying. If you know then what your ill personality traits are, then you can try to work on that.

Again, control…we truly don't have much of it, but at least we can come across with some upbringing and decorum if we act as though we do. Remember 'Nadie es perfecto!' – Nobody's perfect, but we can make everybody's life a little easier if we do our part. Try to be the master of your thoughts…don't let them run-away with you – you don't know what the future holds, what great and better things are around the corner, so why live in anguish and worry, and nervousness. Try not to let your inner goblin and troll take over, don't tap your fingers on the desk as if you're about ready to explode, let the car overtake you… everything is going to be alright. Yea, Bob Marley said it, Mahatma Gandhi said it, Siddartha Gautama said it, Jesus Messiah said it, and then if so many said it, it's the majority and so therefore it must be true. And when we look back on pandemonium of our past we see that things became much better anyway, so why worry now.

Be the master of your thoughts. You are lovely just the way you are – people are falling in love with you all the time, be aware of how you treat others, do the right thing and keep smiling…seriously it looks a lot better than frowning…enjoy it, the moment, life, the pain, then the rewards, the love, the success…if you want it, believe it…and baby it's all yours! J

So if you so happen to like flirting, traveling, trying new foods, dancing, making new friends…then just do it! You're FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Enjoy! J

Friday, August 20, 2010

Heart-ache Quotes...

Well, here we have it – an extravaganza of heart-ache quotes! Do enjoy! My darling Daddy was kind enough to share them with me. I'm sure there are thousands more, but know that you're not alone with this nasty emotion, and it's OK to cry.

Soon you'll be in a place of peace and calm and love. Soon your nightmares will switch to beautiful fantasies and you'll truly see that somewhere over the rainbow skies are really blue. J

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

[A] final comfort that is small, but not cold: The heart is the only broken instrument that works. ~T.E. Kalem

Sometimes I wish I were a little kid again, skinned knees are easier to fix than broken hearts. ~Author Unknown

God is closest to those with broken hearts. ~Jewish Saying

God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces. ~Author Unknown

What is the opposite of two? A lonely me, a lonely you. ~Richard Wilbur

Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. ~Author Unknown

Sadness flies away on the wings of time. ~Jean de La Fontaine

I don't know why they call it heartbreak. It feels like every other part of my body is broken too. ~Missy Altijd

Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again. ~Rosa Parks

I thought when love for you died, I should die.
It's dead. Alone, most strangely, I live on.
~Rupert Brooke

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light. ~Jean Giraudoux

Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated. ~Lamartine

When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal. ~Author Unknown

In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it's better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together. ~Author Unknown

I hate the day, because it lendeth light
To see all things, but not my love to see.
~Edmund Spenser

With what a deep devotedness of woe
I wept thy absence - o'er and o'er again
Thinking of thee, still thee, till thought grew pain,
And memory, like a drop that, night and day,
Falls cold and ceaseless, wore my heart away!
~Thomas Moore

Love is like a puzzle. When you're in love, all the pieces fit but when your heart gets broken, it takes a while to get everything back together. ~Author Unknown

If we must part forever,
Give me but one kind word to think upon,
And please myself with, while my heart's breaking.
~Thomas Otway

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dreams on Fire...

Having to drink a shot of vodka just to get some 'shut-eye' is far from funny. Not having an appetite and then whenever you manage to eat you feel nauseous is a bit worse. But feeling teed off when every other person that walks by is pregnant or part of a happy family of three holding hands; that's when you know you've got problems. Why couldn't I be that happy couple? Why couldn't that unborn child be in my stomach? Why couldn't the one I love, love me the same way he longed and yearned for her?

It's not fair!

It really isn't…true it's good to have forgiveness and compassion and to walk the right path. But can one forgive someone who betrayed their trust? How can one still love someone even though it was quite obvious that they didn't love you the same? I suppose only that person would have answers to those sort of questions.

Sometimes it seems that you're living in a nightmare; but just your nightmare; your torment; your hurt. Because for everyone else, life is just 'peachy'! You begin to wonder if perhaps you're cursed, if you've racked up a full life-time (this one) of bad karma, if you'd be doomed to become a lonely cat lady even though you didn't fancy cats. Couldn't you get a little break? Oh, wait, you did have a break…the 7 months of being giggly silly in love, being there for that person no matter what was going on in your life, every morning a lovely memory of what you'd talked about or did the day before. That was your break. 7 months of pure bliss. Now it was back to harsh reality; back to your punishment; back to being single and having to hear all your friends say, "Don't worry, you'll meet someone new!" or "He's just a jerk, forget him, move on with your life!" Hah! Little do they know of the utter joy you had in this short space of time. Little do they know that he was the best thing that happened to you? Because sure it's nice to spend time with your girlfriends, but they didn't have broad shoulders and hugs that made you melt. Or opened doors like your very own modern-day gentleman, or cook for you, and tell you stories of his youth. Or call you doux-doux or sunshine and never once disrespect you…

I know they mean well. I know that everyone means well. But the truth is that every waking moment (especially since you can't sleep) you think about that person, and if it's only good times, then that's all you're going to remember. The truth is that 'every' damn slow song that plays on the radio makes you tremble with tears, and the upbeat happy ones make you livid. The truth is that you're going to feel like dying every morning you wake up (5 minutes of rest) until one morning you realize that it is what it is, and you have no control over the situation. Then you accept it and slowly your heart heals; and you'd be so tired crying and feeling nauseated that you finally realize you need to sleep….

And people say you have a lesson to learn; and some people say you did nothing wrong and it's not your fault. And I think each instance is different. I think that sometimes you have nothing to learn, because loving somebody could never be a bad thing. That you sadly stumbled into this beauty quickly turned into hell because YOU had a lesson/s to teach THEM. And that you cannot force somebody to love you; you can pretend but if they don't love you, they'll 'mess up' or go away and leave you without closure. Or maybe you'd think of what I'd have been like to be gay; they didn't have such problems as bringing life into the world. Or maybe becoming a monk or nun; if nobody loves me at least my imaginary God will and I can lose myself in prayer and chores and wear long robes to ensure no human could bring me pain. Hmmm…maybe not such a bad idea; although being a cat lady might be the best fit because you could wear shorts on hot days and still have loads of cats give you love. You and the cat hair would be inseparable. Un-conditional love….Hmmm….

Really…life is up and down and down and up. Like a see-saw or swings in a child's playground. So you go UPPPPP… and you have a view of the clouds and the sky, and trees in the distance and you go DOWNNNNN…and you lose all that sense of euphoria and beautiful view, but children don't worry because they know that they'll be up again in no time. I think we have to look at life like this too. When you're down in the dumps and you feel worthless and disappointed and used and hurt and unattractive like you're 'just a friend'; believe it or not you will get up again.

With every disappointment it is really a blessing in disguise…you must believe that. We cannot see why this is happening right now; who knows what the future holds (hmmm…sounds all too familiar), we do not know what it holds, if you are due for an up, you can bet it's something really good! Because you are beautiful, wise, intelligent, and if you continue to do good, you will be rewarded for it….the universe guarantees it J Let go; and take care of yourself…it's time to heal. Now it's your time…just let it be…

If only the breeze could kiss me

Trees green as your eyes are

The river enveloping me like your hugs

If only the fragrance of the grass smelt like you

A taste so sumptuous

A love so pure

Of friendship

Of trust

Of sharing

Then if I had all these things I wouldn't miss you…

I could live happily

Walking the earth

Hugging the trees

Drinking from the river

Not caring if the breeze chapped my lips

Because then I could live knowing you'd always be a part of me

As much as it mars me…I trust you universe, to always love me….


And forever

And I thank-you for loving me…

For without your love, I may as well be a character in a story that would never be written…

I put my trust in you – despite my gaping and bloodied wound.

– you are the magic; you are the prayer I'm saying…Dreams on Fire.

By: Jair Ananda Massiah

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Gratitude

Living an American lifestyle as well as the journey towards solidifying a stable future is tremendously hectic; it makes a good excuse to re-visit or rekindle the simplicity and sacredness of your youth. Fortunate enough; I was born and raised in a place many wish to go on holiday. Although I am able to travel every year to Trinidad & Tobago, my adventurous spirit still prefers to explore other exotic lands as opposed to my own. Being back in my childhood paradise recently I know that there should be no excuse to rejuvenate and regain some energy and more importantly increase positive energy before returning to the grind of the 'so-called' 1st world lands. I shouldn't stay away for too long…

Time moves much more slowly there; and it is very alive; not aesthetic or sterilized for the likings or conveniences of human kind. It is un-polluted the way it was meant to be where humans and creatures of the land and sea live together as one. I am grateful to be reminded of family-time, of rest, of humility, of sincerity, of simplicity, of quiet, of having people truly love me and not expect anything from me, for feeling more and thinking less.

Realizing the more we are grateful of, the more that is given to us. J

Blessings in Disguise

I know there have been several times where I felt anguish and miserable and hopeless; thinking why is this happening to me? But in reality I know that the world is not against me, and why shouldn't it happen to me? It is my experience, my growth, my journey. In fact; looking back on these shoddy moments I realize how much beauty comes from it because if I didn't go through this situation I would never be able to see the outcome or reason for it happening in the first place.

I had the opportunity to visit my Great Aunts recently in Trinidad & Tobago, still haven't seen my grandparents but it'll be all about them next time. My great aunts are special in themselves, like 3 little nuns that live together. They are charming, polite, sweet, so many lovely things wrapped up into their tiny frames. Two above the age of 90 years old…yet still so vibrant, cherry and alert. Well they taught me that 'With every disappointment, it is really a blessing in disguise'. I had to sit with this one…and then eventually it came to me. This simple statement indeed meant so much; for in reality it is a good thing that we don't see right away. We only feel the pain and are blind to what the bigger picture is. We're like small children, "I want this! And I want it now! Why can't I have this! It's not fair! Everybody else has it, why can't I too?!" Well, perhaps because it isn't good for you…you cannot see that yet, but eventually you will.

Aren't we fortunate to have the Universe/God protect us and give us what's best for us? And maybe we think that this isn't the best for us, and we don't deserve these things. We do; we deserve every stumble, every pot-hole, every callous word. I know it sounds silly, but without these experiences we would never see again, or learn a lesson, or slow down, or treat people with respect or garner knowledge…never receive our blessings. To become better human-beings, and in turn become wise, humble and content. J