Memorial Day for the Syrians

Last year at this time, I wrote a post about commemorating the lives of those who died for a cause, fought for their country or died from natural catastrophes. Last year was a pretty intense year. This year, I will say more of my focus has been on the uprising in Syria and the cruelty that has been used against the Syrians pleading for freedom and democracy. While we were celebrating Memorial Day and remembering the lives of our fellow Americans who died at war, the town of Homs and my fellow Syrians found a reason to have their own Memorial Day, as Syrians were massacred and brutalized. Over 100 people were killed, more than half of them women and children, in an 18-hour bombardment, murdering people in the privacy of their own homes.

I pray that the people who have the power to make a change will open their eyes and publicly condemn those responsible for killing the innocent Syrian people.  I hope that the people trying to raise awareness will be heard and helped, and I hope that the UN Human Rights Council will finally take action against the violence in Syria, as they have failed to do in the past. It is time for these crimes against humanity to be tried and punished, and it is time for the Syrian people to be granted their freedom.  Most importantly, it’s time for peace and security for Syria. I pray and hope for a better future.

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Take care of You

A while ago, I wrote a post about pampering yourself, as it is a key to stress relief.  Well, I just recently pampered myself for the first time since having a baby, and wow did I feel good!! It felt like a whole new experience to get my nails done and go to the mall just to stroll! No changing diapers, no feeding, no rocking a baby to sleep, I was all by myself, enjoyed a long mani-pedi with a small back massage and it really did change my entire mindset! I went from feeling so stressed and tired to being super relieved and really happy :). Pampering myself has become a new priority, because I learned that going almost 3 months without any self-care really caused my sanity to spiral out of control! Whatever it is that is keeping you from taking care of yourself, drop it now and put yourself first.  Find a friend, spouse, parent, or a babysitter to take care of your kid(s), or set a goal to treat yourself to something after a big assignment, or leave work early if you are guilty of over-working yourself! Just take an hour (or five) to spend on yourself, and do whatever it is that you really miss.

I know a lot of people who have let stress take over their lives. Some people are affected physically by it, and you can tell by their deteriorating health that they are not taking care of themselves, and others are affected mentally by it, which is scary since it is not as obvious to the people around you.  Whether you let stress affect you physically or mentally (or both), you need to learn to stop and take a time out. I learned a lot just from taking a personal break, and I hope you can find time to do the same.

Making Decisions

Have you noticed that the more options we are given, the pickier we get? If you are hungry and go to a restaurant with a large menu, you spend too long being indecisive, but if the menu only had chicken or beef, you’d probably make your decision in a second. Or going to the store when you need a pair of jeans, but not being able to choose because, all of a sudden, you need a new boot cut and a new straight leg and a new skinny jean and a new boy cut. So many options make it hard for us to make a firm decision. But what’s even worse is the more we get the less appreciative we seem to be. Why is that people with less seem to be much more grateful than those with more?

I hadn’t put much thought into this until I was talking to a friend who is trying to make a difficult decision. She just came out and said “I wish I had nothing and I didn’t have a choice to make, then I would be forced to be happy with what I’m given.” I had never thought about it that way before, but it’s true. We usually find a way to be happy with what we are given, but when we get to choose what will make us happier, we can’t seem to choose which way to go. 

I had originally written this post as a stress-relief tip on being content with what we’ve been given by having the attitude of a “poor man.”  I was ready to post it, yesterday, but, ironically, I was put to the test, first. I ended up having to make my own choice, and believe me, it was a petty one. But, because I am me, this little decision turned into the biggest ordeal. I didn’t end up posting to my blog, yesterday, because I wanted to see what I would learn from my own experience. So what did I learn? Well, first I learned that things are much easier said than done! But I think we all know that one! But, I learned to go with the decision that made me happier.  The “right” option is not always going to make you happy, but if the one that makes you happy can be “right” then go for it. Where the line seems to get obscure for me is where it is right for me and where it is right for others.  One of my biggest lessons in my blogging journey is learning to worry for myself as I worry for others and take care of myself as I would take care of others.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to live the life I do and for what I have been given, but that doesn’t change the fact that the smallest choices seem to play such a significant role in my approach towards happiness. I do not think I’m the only one in this position, which is why I feel brave enough to post this to the public.  Hopefully, we can embrace an “attitude of gratitude,” when looking at what we’ve been given, and when it comes to making choices for ourselves, hopefully we can embrace an “attitude of self-gratitude” and think about our own happiness.

At the end of the day, remember that the choice you do make was made for a reason, and there will be good in that plan. “Be content with what God has given you, and you will be the richest of people.”

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. A day in which most people spend shopping, with family, at barbecues and celebrating the beginning of summer, but often forgetting that today is a holiday commemorating the lives of Americans who died at war.

Many people are out visiting graveyards and memorials to remember those who died for a cause, who fought for their country, and who died as heroes. As a proud American, I extend my condolences to those who have lost loved ones in war, and I am proud of my fellow Americans who died for something they believed in and fought with bravery at their own will.

Just as these brave Americans chose to fight for their country, many people around Africa and the Middle East are bravely standing in the streets to peacefully demand freedom, democracy, and justice in their homelands.  These brave civilians are also fighting for their country, so the next generations can experience a life of opportunity and a life worth living.

At the same time, we’ve seen the devastating natural forces all around the world – from the tornadoes ripping through the southern US states, the earthquakes in South America, the tsunamis and earthquakes in Asia, the flooding all around the world – killing thousands of people.  This year has been a pretty intense year in terms of natural catastrophes and political upheavals.

On this Memorial Day, while my heart, respect and gratitude are with my fellow Americans, I also extend my thoughts and prayers to those who have died either for a cause or by a natural cause. May their souls rest in peace and may their lives always be remembered.

Say a Little Prayer

I’m sorry I’m late to post, today, but it’s been a crazy morning. On top of that, my CNN iPhone alert just kept giving me bad news, so it also put a little damper on the morning. So, today, my blog will be short and sweet. I just want people to stop for a moment, if you have a minute, and pray (whatever your form of prayer may be) for yourself and for those around the world that are suffering. We have nature’s forces wiping out populations and governments authorizing the mass murders of civilians. Whatever the disaster may be, people are struggling and fighting for their lives, and I hope that we will soon experience a settling storm. I know it’s usually in the holiday season that we send out messages for “Peace on Earth and Goodwill for Mankind”…but that’s my prayer for today. I also hope that each of us can learn to pray for our own inner peace, as that is truly where it all starts.

Remember: Everything Happens for a Reason

Last night I went to bed upset about something that happened a while ago. Yes, it was random, but sometimes you just remember random things. What I failed to think about was how that situation ended up benefiting me, since I learned from it and grew from it. In my case, I had to learn the hard way that things you think “will never happen to me,” can, indeed, happen. Things don’t just work out the way we expect, we have to work on them to get the results we want.  

I know it’s hard to think about the purpose behind an incident when you haven’t seen the outcome, and you can’t deny how something has made you feel, but you can try to remember that there will eventually be an upside. Whether it’s a missed job opportunity, a hurt relationship, a bad meeting – whatever the situation is – things will work for the better. It’s crazy how a misfortune that affects you at a moment in time will actually end up working to your benefit in the future.

“There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.” -Euripides

Take Control of your Chi

I am the type of person that feeds off of others’ energies…this can be great if someone is in a good mood, but it can be so bad if someone is in a bad mood or generally has bad energy. For this reason, I am trying so hard to maintain a balanced chi – which is the universal life force, or energy, in a person. We all have bad days and we all get in bad moods, but trying to keep your chi in check will keep you feeling peaceful and less stressed.  I also believe that a balanced chi will promote overall health and well-being. 
 
Think about it this way – when you feel yourself low on energy, or not feeling up to par, your chi is probably blocked. You can easily and naturally unblock your chi and positively energize your body by doing things that make you feel great and happy. Stretching and breathing are always good ideas. Something as simple as extending your arms outward and upward while inhaling, and then releasing them while exhaling, will instantly stimulate your chi flow. Also, eating a balanced diet filled with natural grains, fruits and veggies really helps.  Finally, do something you enjoy and have some personal “you” time. Dedicate a small part of your day to yourself and do whatever it is that relaxes you (just don’t watch too much TV, it is said to be a chi blocker!).

“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” – Aristotle