On Pain…

We all have pain.

We have all survived something. That’s the nature of life.

It’s easy, of course, to look at other people and imagine that they have no pain at all. The Instagram highlight reel is absolute perfection, so we assume everything else must be perfect too. If we have learned anything from the double-shock of losing Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain in one week, however, it is that we could not be further from the truth.

We all have pain.

Not one to indulge in celebrity culture, I was quite taken aback by how much Bourdain’s choice to die caught me off guard. I haven’t been able to write as consistently because I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this heartbreak. How can someone so incredible, with such an abundance of God-given gifts, who brings such light to the world, be so overwhelmed by darkness behind closed doors?

Why did he have to go like this?

We all have pain.

Let me share a few personal stories…

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On White Dollars & Black Days…

When you plant a seed in your garden, it takes weeks before you see a hint of green. You water the soil every day and sometimes question yourself, unsure if there’s a pulse in the dirt.

And then the stem peaks its head and you finally know that your time was worth investing.

When you decide to have a baby, do you expect to be holding the precious little one in your hands by tomorrow afternoon? No. You toil for months in the creation process.

We all understand these two facts to be true. There is no way to rush a plant into growing or a child into being. So why is it that we expect to become wealthy overnight? Why is it that, when we meet someone wealthy, we assume that Lady Luck smiled down on them more than the rest of us?

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On Self-Care…

My dad once asked me to solve a riddle on the drive home from school.

“If you were a mother of two, and you could only bring home one loaf of bread every night, how would you split it?” he asked.

“DUH! In two!” I responded, eager to show him how selfless I would be.

He stuck his finger up off the steering wheel in his tell-tale way.

“Wrong?” I asked.

“Wrong! If you split it in two, you won’t be able to eat, and you will starve to death!” he explained.

“And there won’t be anyone left to bring my kids any bread at all!” I realized in awe.

You cannot pour from an empty cup.

That’s all I have to share today.

And remember… we design our own luck!

M.

On Pebbles and Diamonds…

Find me a millennial who has not been swept away by the tide of 21st Century apathy, and you will have found a diamond in the rough. My generation is not the only one subject to this affliction of carelessness, but it is certainly quite common for us to fall between the cracks.

Why is that?

I remember a time when my peers were voicing out their dreams and hopes for the world to anyone who would listen, singing on rooftops and distributing access to makeshift poetry websites, chanting in the street for freedom from hunger, freedom from genocide, freedom from apartheid, and love, love, love! I was one of them.

What happened?

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On Gratitude…

When discussing gratitude, I see patterns in how people react. Some proclaim that they do exercise enough gratitude, while others insist that they have nobody to thank for anything because they did it all themselves. Meanwhile, others reflect that, while they are grateful, they are still unhappy.

These are all inherent contradictions.

Unhappiness cannot linger in a grateful body. It may pass by once in a while, but it never finds a pillow to rest its head. In the same way, happiness cannot linger in an ungrateful body. It seeks out the comfort of a thankful heart.

Being thankful for what we have invites more of what we want into our lives. I am often surprised by the people who practice thanks as an hourly habit. No matter how dire their circumstances may be, they calmly and confidently conquer the storm. Where do they get that strength from?

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light!” – Albus Dumbledore.

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On Vision…

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned” -Buddha

I thought of this, one of my favourite proverbs, as I observed a brief exchange this morning. In the pouring rain, a woman stood under a bus shelter and dropped her umbrella. She didn’t notice. A man who saw this happen took the initiative to pick up the umbrella and give it back to the woman. She looked right through him, so intently avoiding eye contact that it seemed she did not see him standing there at all. “Are you OK?” he asked. No response. Another woman intervened: “are you alright?” “YES!” the woman snapped, “but why is THAT *derogatory racist word* man speaking to me?

“He was giving back your umbrella.”

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On Fridays…

Offices across the Western world are familiar with the hum and buzz of Friday. In the East, perhaps it is Wednesday or Thursday, but the sentiment is very much the same.

We don’t really question this. Naturally, it makes perfect sense to have the Monday blues and the Friday ya-hoo! Right?

What is wrong with this picture?

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