Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gimme a slice of that humble pie

This past week has been chock full of lessons in humility. Wow has it been a shock to the system. The first came with seeing the Susan Boyle clip, and shamefully like everyone else I was expecting the clip to be like the blooper reel on American Idol. Which by the way I will never understand why they show it. That's just cruel. I digress. It was nearly midnight last Saturday and I came by the clip via Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. What caught my eye was Demi's response that it made her teary, so I thought what the heck lemme see what this it's all about. Folks I sobbed. I sobbed when I saw the clip, because it was against all odds that she would come out and just floor everyone like that. I sobbed because it was such a wake up call to see myself and everyone else judging this book by it's cover. I sobbed because of her amazing spirit, at 47 to still be dreaming the dream (and by the way totally appropriate choice in song). Still have hopes and still have the guts to go for it. I cheered for Susan for reminding is us all that dreams can come true and that you should never ever give up.

The second lesson was one of gut wrenching heartbreak. Being new to the twitter-verse, I had started to connect with some Mommy bloggers. It was kind of awkward for me. I was looking to connect with people that I had something in common and "Mommy" is not a title I shared with most of the gals I met online. A few stood out, mainly because they had funny outlooks on life and being Mom was just a part of who they were and not the whole picture...

But sadly two of these lovely gals suffered great losses. They both lost babies last week. MamaSpohr lost her sweet little Maddie and Gorillabuns her little man Thalon. I read the entries on their blogs and wept with these women I did not know in person. I didn't have to be a Mommy to feel their pain. It utterly shattered me to see just how fragile life was, right there in black and white. To see entries just a few days before the tragedy and read how everything was happy and sunny and then to see the next entry and how one day can change your life forever and turn it on it's head. Life is short. Don't ever take anything for granted. Cherish every moment. Shit happens and we just have to find a way to deal with it and hope that we find a course to ease our suffering in this thing called life. So never miss an opportunity to laugh, because you never know when the tears will come.

Lesson three came on Tuesday. It was the day of Maddie's funeral. A friend had asked me if I wanted to volunteer at a soup kitchen a few months back and I had agreed. I'd never done anything like that so I thought it would be an interesting experience. That it coincided with Maddie's funeral was apropos to me. I needed to do something good, to make up for the goodness the world was saying goodbye to that day. Something to help me feel like balance was being restored in the tiniest of way. So I headed off to what turned out to be a Lutheran church that was hosting the event, with Maddie and Thalon in my heart and thoughts.

There were quite a few volunteers, many were regulars at this monthly event. Being a newbie I got assigned the task of helping out with the drinks. Making lemonade and then working the coffee station. I was a regular barista I tell you. The setup and cooking started at 4pm. By 5pm we went through the drill of where everyone was supposed to be, then we held hands in a circle, the pastor said a few words of pray and the doors were opened. Food service (breakfast for dinner was the theme) would start in another 30 mins, so the patrons were free to munch on nachos and get drinks or coffee while they waited. I watched as people started pouring in and making their way towards me. There were a few drunks and a couple guys that clearly were suffering from some mental malaise, but for the most part, these were average folk. People I would be sitting with and having a coffee, talking to if they were sitting next to me on a park bench. You get my drift. They were just like you and me, but obviously had fallen on hard times. With this economy it's no surprise. But the look in their eyes told another story. I could see the embarrassment, of being there. I could see the gratitude of being handed a cup of coffee. And I could see the apologetic smiles they gave me, like they were saying so sorry to bother you like this.

And let me tell you something. I have given to charities, I had supported causes monetarily, but that day, I was humbled down to my very bones. I was honoured to be serving those people. I wanted to thank them for giving me this privilege of being able to do something. Because we are all connected. We are all the same. And we have to take care of each other. Because that is what community is all about. It not streets and alley that makeup a community. But people that come together and care for one another. We are family, as the song goes.

So I sit here today and ponder the lessons of the week and share them here with you.

Peace and love to you my global family....

In loving Memory of Thalon Myers

Please Give give generously to the March of Dimes

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Love is all you need...

Love Love Love. It really does make the world go round. Everything we do in life is for the love of something. Love of power, love of money, love of success, love of fame, love of family, love of friends. But the greatest love, is true love. Something that we will desperately try to fill with all other forms of love when we lack it in our lives and one that when we have it, well, the only way to describe it is through the language of mystics. Because it's that divine.

True love. Some will tell you it's a myth, something only fools believe in or something that doesn't last. Or they will tell you how that the magic is an illusion only to wear off once real life happens. Some will have tales of heartache and heartbreak, of how they were "duped" by love. How love blinded their good judgment. How to love means only to get hurt. How they will never chase that fools gold again...

I am here to tell you true love exists. I know this not from my own personal experience, but because I have seen it in, not one, but two couples in my lifetime. Two couples out of all the folks I have met in my lifetime does not seem like great odds for true love. But let me tell you why I still believe in it.

Love is not something you can take for granted. It's not something you simply fall into and then remain captivated by blissfully. The reason is our rational side is constantly in battle with our emotional side. Tells us we need to get real, act responsibly. Love does not put food on the table, or clothes on our back. Reason and rationality tell us to put love to the side so we can focus on more important things. In fact almost everything we go through life works against love. Why? Because love is passion. Love is being stupid, and I mean that in a good way. Love does not listen to rhyme and reason. Love does not care what anyone thinks, love only knows loves and wants nothing but love. Love tells us to take risks, take chances. Love tells us to be bold, to go for it and give it our everything.

These are all characteristics of a something slightly insane, something slightly off balance, probably why we use the terms, mad or crazy when referring to love. No one became a hero for listening to their mind, but rather for listening to their heart. They may be brave and courageous but mark my words they had a heart full of love that drove them to ignore warnings of danger from the mind. These are not characteristics we embrace as a rational, sensible practical person. That rational practical sensibility takes away from our lives the only truly important thing. What feeds our souls and spirit. Tells us to let someone else be the hero, you just keep your head down. And so everyday, little by little, it chips away at our hearts.

What we all need is to go a little crazy everyday. Do the unexpected. Inject our lives with a little passion. Plan a surprise. Those grand gestures, the ones they make movies, write songs about, they are not grand because they are elaborate, expensive or extravagant. They are grand because they come from a place of total abandonment of thought. Because the mind has been tossed to the side and the it's the heart in teh driver's seat that is racing down the road. Because at that moment you ARE the hero to someone. That's why they blow your mind, because it's unexpected. Because your mind could never imagine it but your heart recognizes it the minute it sees it and just soars.

Love is a language that we need to practice everyday, otherwise we forget how to speak it. Love doesn't need flowers or chocolate, it doesn't need gifts. All it needs is a willing heart , one that remembers, each and everyday how lucky it is to be so filled with such joy.

Love is watching your children or beloved sleep. It's holding hands. It's taking a moment to look at each other and share a smile or a kiss. It's a hug just because. And endless other little things. None of which take much time or money. All it takes is a moment to let your heart feel openly. How many of us do that?

I wish I could say my parents were a great example of such love but they were not. What I see in them is what the lack of that love can do to a person and suck the happiness right out of them. I vowed never to let that be my fate. But I have been fortunate to witness this true love in two of the dearest people in my life, one who is sadly no longer with us. To be around them was to live love, to see love, to breath love. And for me, they set the bar, and some may say too high. But I'd rather have the bar too high than settle for anything less than what they had. Because their life was so full, so rich, so colourful because of that love. And anyone who had the privilege of knowing them will tell you they felt blessed to be in the presence of such awe inspiring love. That's the love I want. The love I believe in.

So if you are one of those lucky people that found love in your life, hear me when I say, you are fortunate, because what you have is such a precious commodity to be handled with utmost care. So don't let it slip away. Practice it's language, nurture it, feed it, each and every day.

And to those still searching for love, never give up. Remember that love is about living life without abandon. About celebrating every minute. About keeping the door to your heart open and about taking chances. Love life, live happy and know that true love is out there somewhere waiting for you. All it needs is a willing heart. Don't be afraid of getting hurt. The road may be bumpy but I promise you the reward for taking that road will take your breath away. So keep on loving...

dedicated to my beloved Shishi and Yoosi

Peace and love

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Celebrate Love

I am dedicating today to love, on the suggestion of the lovely blog "Obsessed with Conformity".
I'll update thru out the day with all things love related. For now enjoy this video:

Playing for Change: One Love

Peace and love to all

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Look Who's Famous

I've been pondering the state of celebrity-hood for a few weeks. Okay so I developed a wee obsession ( so shoot me, he is quite dishy) on a certain blond Bond, after seeing his performance in Casino Royale. Yah, I don't get out much and I realize I have arrived to the scene of Danny boy's success a little late, but really I had no clue he was that great of an actor.

I was vaguely aware of who he was, and when they announced him as the new Bond, I thought... What?!! Why? In any event I had already lost all interest in the Bond franchise so I couldn't give rats ass who they picked... whatever...

Then on route back to LA from London, due to the pathetic offering of movie choices on BA, I decided to watch a "classic". And I was promptly blown away by how well he fit the part and what a great job he did. why had I not heard of this guy before? He's a really fine actor. This is where is got me thinking... and I had the sudden urge to know more about the man behind the character. Was he just a good actor or was he an interesting human being as well? So I did a bit on online sleuthing...

Turns out he was always a great actor, just that his movies reached a smaller audience and rarely this side of the pond. With Bond he just exploded on the international scene and suddenly he's this huge celebrity. The smaller number viewer in the past was what prevented his reaching the levels of fame he is experiencing now...

Now he's at award shows, cover of magazines, best dressed, sexiest man alive, you name it... There are paparazzi pictures of his most mundane activities, like grocery shopping, eating out etc. That's right, his grocery shopping is NEWS!!! I shop 3 times a week and there is no bloody person to photograph that, then again I never uttered the words, "the name is Bond, James Bond" on the big screen either. He likes to be challenged in his work. He like vodka martinis, blah blah blah, amazing how much stuff is written about him that has nothing to do with his talent and what he is clearly very good at...

So what's my point? Yes I do have a point and I am getting to it....

There are people around the world doing a fine job, maybe sitting in a cubicle some place but doing a good job, and possibly changing the world as we speak. Yet we will never hear from them. Because they don't have an audience. There will be no award ceremony broadcast on national TV, no lifetime achievement awards none of that... The fact is Danny is no more interesting a human being than the next guy, except for the fact of his acting skills. But somehow everything he say or does, is read and viewed with such interest now. Maybe he should not have stripped down to his speedos... But I guess the question is does anything Dan want to say, or anything he thinks ultimately really important, or worth the attention it gets? DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING WORTHWHILE TO SAY? I couldn't tell you because I didn't see any. No idea how he feels about world poverty/hunger, the war in Iraq, the recession, the million of jobless people around the world, global warming, equal rights etc. Though I did read he had a very nice christmas holiday in the Carribean. I am being too hard on Daniel. I am sure his friends will say he is a very nice guy, just very private person. Sounds like an oxymoron, famous private person...So what makes Danny so famous? He is famous simply for doing a fine bit of acting on a Hollywood blockbuster, on showing on millions of screens around the world. That suddenly makes him an interesting person, some one worth honouring, awarding... That's what put him on the map. An audience...

I think this is where sites like Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc are leveling the playing field. Not that we all want to be famous, but they allow everyone, EVERYONE, to have an audience. And depending on your presence you can reach as far as you want. On these sites you are judged by what you have to say. If it strikes a cord with enough people then Voila, you have now become an online celeb. No movie required... Of course, you'll still not be earning the salary Danny gets for be soooo famous, but who knows, that may come too. Advertisers don't discriminate. They only care if you can sell their product...I digress. But the point I am trying to making is if the pre-requisite to fame is having an audience, we've all got that now. So I guess now more than ever in history, what you say, what you think, how you carry yourself through life is what will make you truly famous. In other words we will be known and remembered for who we were as a person and not for what we did for a living.

Biography channel's slogan is, "Every life is a Biography", which is quite crap considering that the majority of people they feature are showbiz folks...people famous for their profession...

Truth is this, every life IS interesting, there are people all around us worthy of getting to know better, worthy of being honoured, and acknowledged now and not in an obituary when they are dead and gone. I guess it's a bit sick, this obsession with celebs. They are people just like you and me. They just happen to have a job and makes them highly visible. And for some reason they require endless award shows to let everyone know they did a good job. You would think these people are insecure or something. Again I digress...Anyways, I am more interested in what they have to say, or how they effect the society around them. If you have nothing worthwhile to communicate, if you don't care about the society you live in, then in my book you're not famous. I know, I know, they are all crying their eyes out because Marjan doesn't care. But here's the thing folks, we really should be spending our time on people that are trying to make a difference and bring about change for the better. Learn from them, be inspired by them and be motivated to do something worthwhile with our lives.

So next time you see a advert for an award show, try this for a change. Host your own award ceremony and honour the people in your life that matter. Maybe we should do this en mass. Declare a day "insert favorite friend/family member" Day. And then broadcast to the world who they are and why they are your hero, why the world does not know what it is missing, and why they should want to know THIS biography... Do it

love and peace

Oh and Daniel, give me a call, we need to talk... ;0)