Saturday, November 12, 2011

Amira's First of Many Experiences

A week ago, Friday, Amira’s school had their annual Harvest Festival, which consist of food, crafts, community gathering and this year a talent show.

About a month prior to the Harvest Festival, Amira came home from school and announced that she wanted to sign up with one of her classmates for the talent show. Internally I was shocked because of her severe shyness, but externally I showered her with encouragement and support. She shared they were going to do a scene from Alice In Wonderland Jr., the musical. All new to me, but was excited for her nonetheless for her adventurous nature. She practiced everyday when she had free time.

A week prior to the Harvest Festival she even took her backpack to school with a few dresses and shoes to show her friend so they could decide what they were going to wear for their play.

The day of the Harvest Festival, Amira packed her backpack with all her wears and went off to school. At 4:30 that evening my dad and I arrived to greet Amira and assist with any last minute preparations for the big show. We also ran into her little friend that was equally as excited, nervous and ready to go.

Beings this was the school’s first year at having a talent show at the Harvest Festival, it was a bit unorganized leaving families uncertain as to where, when and what time the show was suppose to take place.

Like sheep we followed a flock to a classroom where we all gathered for the big event. You could clearly tell Amira was nervous but wanted to play it ‘cool’ around the other kids. The program directory was passed out and the talent show attendees where asked to sit up front. Amira’s little friend was still not in the room when the talent show began, which added greatly to Amira’s nervousness.

Amira’s name was finally called to step up, to which she did, but to tell the director that her friend was not here yet. Ugh! She returned to her seat and anxiously awaited her friend’s arrival.

A few acts later and her friend finally arrives. Amira runs back up to the director of the program and advises her that her friend has arrived, so they let the two of them go to center stage with a microphone in Amira’s hand. The room is silent and still. The two girls look out at the crowd, then look at one another. Amira’s eyes begin to wail up and she puts her hand around her throat. Her friend’s eyes are like a deer looking in headlights – wide as can be. They just stand there. Finally the director whispers to them, “it’s ok, you can sit down”. The two girls walk off the staging area. Everyone claps.

We make it through the remainder of the talent show, then Amira comes up to me barely holding back from crying and I grab her hand. She doesn’t not want much comforting as she’s seconds away from losing it and doesn’t want to do it in front of everyone.

We make our way to the car. Once inside we both start bawling like babies. I feel so horrible for how she’s feeling. She’s embarrassed and can’t stop crying. She wants to just go home. We held hands all the way home, and talked about the show. I shared with her how proud of her I was, and how proud others were of her for taking such a big step, as they know how shy she is. She tells me that when she looked out at the audience she was surprised how many people were there, and that Patrick’s advice (from Spongebob) of visualizing people in their underwear did not help AT ALL. I shared with her my experience of having to say or do something in front of people and how it made me feel. Hearing this seemed to help calm her nerves.

When we got home I asked if she wanted to share some hot tea together and she said that she did. As I was preparing the tea she decided to get this book she gave me last year which was a book of Maxine quotes (see below the first page of the book she turned too).

When I brought her a cup of tea, I found her crying again. I asked what happened and she said she got the “Maxine” book out as she thought it would cheer her up, but instead she said, “I opened the very first page and this is what I saw”.

Maxine can be so cold sometimes. LOL

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Had an amazing weekend, last weekend. Conducted my first fundraising event. With the assistance of a friend of mine, we conducted a breast cancer awareness fundraiser. We've since changed the name to breast health awareness since we don't want our focus to be on cancer awareness, but rather on health awareness.

We conducted a massage marathon. Two days of massaging with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen foundation for research.

Was a little nervous at first as there's a lot to consider and prepare for in pulling off such an event, but thankfully everything fell into place seemingly effortlessly.

Feeling so blessed and thankful for such an experience, the next plan is to do another fundraiser in the spring but on a bigger scale. Still considering the cause to support, but have it narrowed down to either something for children, diabetics, or abused women.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crumbling & Dismantling

As the walls crumble and the antiquated structures are dismantled, freedom is making its way all around the globe. What an exciting time to be living on planet earth. I feel so blessed and grateful to be a part of this time period. May we continue to learn more, so we can do better.

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


For the last couple of years it seems like we’ve been experiencing a pattern. Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve become more aware of time. In any event, during the last couple of years, each year starts out rather uneventful then around the middle of the year things really start to pick up speed. Certainly this year has been no exception. Although the world on a hold has been extremely active, it seems these activities have in some ways caused us all to stop or at best slow down. For certainly this year has been a show stopper on many fronts with the global economy dangling by a thread, tsunami in Japan, the unemployment situation in the U.S. (not to be elevated above any other countries unemployment situation—just it’s in my own back yard, so to speak), and the uprising/uprooting taking place in northern Africa to name a few. Needless to say someone, somewhere has been affected by these global events, which has caused them to stop or at best slow down. Perhaps these events have caused them to be present in their own lives for the first time in a very long time. I know on more than one occasion I’ve been halted in my tracks to stop and refocus to present time which was a true blessing, but yet at times so difficult to do when you’re so use to going a million miles another.

I’m not sure why we have this need, and possibly it’s just myself, to constantly be on the go, whether for family, work, education, etc. Even taking time for spiritual devotion (prayer) seems to be scheduled amidst all our other doings. Where did this way of thinking come from? This is not to say that I believe we should all be sitting around being unproductive, but maybe more reflective on how we spend our daily time. I think a lot of our daily living is not reflected on more than “this is what I have to do to survive”. Is that entirely true? Could we possibly live a different way and still survive?

Maybe, just maybe, these last couple of years of starting out rather uneventful and eventually progressing into more activity is nature’s way of slowing us down. Maybe it’s God’s way of giving us a gentle nudge to redirect our focus and reprioritize our lives. In any event, I feel blessed to be a part of this planet at this time of life to see the dynamic events unfold before the world as well as experience all the changes happening around us.

How do you feel about the times we are living in?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Time - My Nemesis

"Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise." -- Sophia Bedford-Pierce

Time has been my nemesis this summer, for literally it feels like I’m constantly battling for more of it.

From June until the current date, we have been going non-stop. We’ve had family and friends visiting with no break in between visits to recuperate and recharge for the next round, and I’m definitely starting to feel it. We have one more week until all company leaves and then a 3-day break before Amira starts back to school.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or unappreciative of the visits----not at all. In fact, some of the best memories and unexpected visits I ever expected to have, which was a wonderful delight. I’m just feeling the exhaustion of no down time and irregular routine. Funny that I would even ponder the thoughts of an irregular routine as that’s never been an issue for me before; however, over the last few years I’ve made more of a concerted effort for quiet time at home, so am perhaps feeling the affects of no quiet/recharge time.

I know Amira has been feeling the affects as well as she’s had lower energy charge than usual. Aside from all the visitors, which include lots of activities, sleep loss, and over-stimulation from everything and everyone, she also attended a day camp this summer for the first time. This day camp was close to my work, which was convenient for both of us. Her activities included swimming 2 days a week, a weekly field trip, and a day of games and rock wall climbing. It was an amazing camp and she seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself.
Struggling for time seems so funny to me, and yet it’s the one thing that seems to interrupt the balance of our lives. Well, we are off to a wedding for a friend’s daughter. Until next time, be well. Ramadan Kareem!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pondering the Extreme Highs and Lows

It feels we are definitely embarking on new territory as the days continue to pass. As unsettling and disturbing as some of the events are unfolding globally, I’m excited and looking forward to seeing the final outcome.

With events ranging from great excitement and joy to events ranging from grievous hardship, it can be taxing both on one’s psyche and physical being because they are occurring expeditiously as well as concurrently.

When one is grieving from such tragic hardship, are they even capable of finding that inner peace of calmness that still remains embedded in them?

When one is ecstatic from such wondrous joy, is there a part of them that feels a sense of guilt for feeling such a high because of the other tragic events of the world?

It seems as humans and perhaps because of certain beliefs held, spoken or unspoken for centuries, we can easily accept (perhaps ‘accept’ is not the right word)…..adapt or cope with the negative aspects of life more obsequiously than the positive. For it seems the moments of great joy are fleeting and expected to only last a short period of time. And yet, on the other hand there doesn’t seem to necessarily be an expected timelimit on dealing with difficult times. Why is that? Why are the struggling times painfully endurable when the joyous times spent seem so fleeting? It’s almost as if we’ve been engrained to deal with the difficult, and in some ways feel a tinge of guilt or unworthiness in celebrating our joy. Perhaps guilt and unworthiness are a little harsh, but my point is I’ve seen countless times those that are in a good place in their life almost shyly sharing their joy with their friends or family that may be going through a difficult time. In the same vain, those going through difficult times don’t seem to have such challenges in sharing with someone, whose experiencing a great joy in their life, their trials. Why is that?

Commonsense tells us that we do not all evolve at the same pace. Moreover, we do not all share the same joys or trials simultaneously. Thank God! Could you imagine? What if we were all suffering at the same time, who would be the one(s) to uplift and support us? On the flipside, how amazing would it be to live joyously and harmoniously together? The funny thing is, I know that last sentence would be received by some with a roll of the eyes and a thought of “yeah, right!” To which I would wonder, why not? We as humans are amazing creatures. We have proven time and time again how incredibly talented, smart, tender, compassionate, creative, etc., we are, so, why can’t we unilaterally tame our egos to be more supportive of one another?

Sending warm wishes and love to all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Keep 'fear' in check

With these trying times of natural disasters, heinous violence against humans, day-to-day stressors of life, and the bombardment of news pelting us from all angles, one could literally make them self sick with worry.

Remember to take deep breaths throughout the day, say a favorite mantra or prayer, and even sing your favorite tune just to remind yourself you are alive and present. Do what you can to help which includes taking care of yourself for the sake of others.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter

‎"If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter, floating a few feet above a field somewhere, people would come from everywhere to marvel at it. People would walk around it, marveling at its big pools of water, its little pools and the water flowing between the pools. People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas surrounding it and the water suspended in the gas. The people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the surface of the ball and at the creatures in the water. The people would declare it precious because it was the only one and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt. The ball would be the greatest wonder known and people would come to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge, to know beauty and to wonder how it could be. People would love it, and defend it with their lives, because they would somehow know that their lives, their own roundness, could be nothing without it. If the Earth were only a few feet in diameter." Author unknown.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Events I never imagined happening in my lifetime

My heart aches currently for the Libyan people. As I’ve been following newsreels, Internet articles, blogs and variant other means of news since Tunisia I’ve been feeling both thrilled and aghast of the daily events.

Beaming with pride for the peaceful marches being made to effectuate change in a country, nation, and even the world as we witness the power of the human spirit is exhilarating. However, at the same time witnessing the horrifying events of leaders blatantly deceiving their own people is deplorable.

Now as the world and I stand looking to Libya, I find myself sickened at the hourly, daily, weekly events that have been happening to Libyans.

Again, I find myself cheering loudly for the spirit and steadfastness of the people that are forging forward----for the great sacrifices that are being made to effectuate change. For their determination to make contact via telephone, Facebook, Twitter or emails every time there is access to technology is unbelievable. And yet, on the other hand due to the heinous acts being committed, I find it difficult to focus on a daily basis.

Even though geographically there is 6,673 miles or 10,738 km from northern California to Libya one’s hearts truly know no distance. I ache for the bloodshed, pain, suffering, and fear, which continue to remain rampant until there is a resolve. I hope and pray this happens soon.

My love, thoughts and prayers continue to diligently go out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

On this day ponder this, if you had it all to do over, would you do a better job loving yourself? If so, why not start now. Give to yourself what you want from others.

Quote for the day:

"A baby is born with a need to be loved and never outgrows it." Frank A. Clark

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Educational Training on Cultural Diversity

Had one of my Lucy Ricardo moments---I believe I took my daughter to a brothel on Monday.

On Monday Amira and I had lots of things to do after she got of out school, so I was strategizing the best way to do as many tasks as possible in the shortest time period.

I picked her up for school and told her of our errands (manicure, hair cuts, library run, groceries, etc.). I told her I spotted a place not far from her school where they were advertising inexpensive haircuts as well as offer manicure services too. I was excited about finding a place that was as they say “a one stop shopping” spot.

We pulled into this driveway and proceeded towards the salon which advertised on its door “a full service salon” (i.e., hair, nails, facials, massage).

We walked in the front door of this building which by the way had blocked off windows for seeing in which whould have been my first clue, but wasn’t, and was greeting by a beautiful Asian woman. She seemed surprised to see us but greeted us warmly nontheless (should have been clue #2—the surprised look, but wasn’t). I explained to her what I needed done for Amira and I and she tucked her head behind a curtain, mumbled some words in a foreign language and then reappeared. She exclaimed that the lady behind the curtain would gladly help me. Amira and I walke through the curtain to a small manicure/pedicure room and was greeted by another beautiful Asian woman. Upon telling us to sit, they were digging the nail equipment out of the drawers and storage area (again another clue something wasn’t what it seemed to be, but oh no…..I’m too focused on “one stop shopping and time management”).

Another beautiful Asian woman comes into the room to retrieve Amira as she has stated she’ll be trimming her hair. Out the curtain Amira goes to an area where a hair station is set up (thankfully I can see her from this vantage point). While the lady is manicuring my nails and not necessarily doing a great job, I realize its been quite awhile since Amira went to get her hair trimmed, and found this odd since it was just the ends of her hair that needed trimming. Finally Amira comes back into the room and literally it looked like not one hair had been cut. So much so that I actually ask Amira right then and there, did they cut your hair? She assures me they did and she’s satisfied with it.

Finally beauty #2 is done with my bloody stump fingers. I remind beauty #1 that I needed to still get my hair trimmed. She tells me the price and now I’m getting frustrated because it seems like the fees are being made up as we go. DUH, of course they were, but I’m still freakin’ clueless.

Beauty #1 takes me to the hair station and at this point begins to tell me, “oh you hair so prrretty, and so fashion”. In my bewilderment I see now an older Asian woman peaking out from behind the corner of another room and then quickly ducking back in. Me, thinking---“what the hell?” (At this point there's so many clues that I'm even embarassed to acknowledge.) The lightbulb which is ever so dim in my head is now finally fighting to flicker on.

I ask beauty #1, “so do you guys do massage here too?” Now normally in a hair or nail establishment operated by Asians they want to sell you on ever service---in fact almost pushing them all on you to try, but not in this case. Beauty #1 says, “uh yes – you like your hair, it’s soooooo prrrretty”.

Finally the ordeal is over and Amira and I leave. On to our next errand---to which I explain to Amira we’ll never be going back there---it was a weird place. She said, “yeah, it was. The lady who spoke English, I think she was the owner, she was teaching the other lady how to cut my hair when I was in there.”

As we arrived at our next destination Amira tells me that she forget her coat at that place we were just at. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr now I have to go back and get her coat. As I go back in the front door Beauty #1 quickly came to the front door and got wide eyed when she saw me. I told her we left my daughter’s coat there and she quickly scrampled for it. While doing so, I walked a little further in the entry way and what did I see……..two gentlemen sitting in the hair station chairs. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, just saying…….something wasn’t what it appeared.

I'll have to chalk it up to educational training on cultural diversity.
Good grief Charlie Brown!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Time Management

Learning to not waste your own time.

It is so easy to stand in your own way, to distract yourself from changing, growing or transforming from what was to what will be. Even in the mist of your fears, sadness, depression, idleness, restlessness, boredom, laziness it is so easy to get distracted. It is so easy to justify spending more time on the computer, texting on our cells, or whatever we do to kill precious moments of our own time. Yes, yes, yes, of course we can justify it, but why is it necessary? What are we avoiding?

Give yourself and your life an earnest look over and ask yourself, “Am I wasting my own time? Am I standing in my own way of achieving whatever goal(s) I’ve pondered for myself?” If the answer is “yes”, then consider new time management. Stop wasting your own precious time.

I give this little discussion to myself, really. For I know and have known for sometime that I stand in my own way of achieving certain goals. Not to say I haven't been successful because that wouldn't be a true statement. I've achieved a great number of goals for myself.....goals I never truly imagined would come true, but over my lifetime have indeed come to fruition. However, when I look at these achievements, I realize they are somewhat distant from my personal being. That is except for one, and that is being a mother. All other achievements are a distant from thy personal being, which may explain why they were achievable. A somewhat non-detachment, I suppose, to them.

“So what am I blathering about”, I ask myself. I’m blathering about my willingness to keep a distance between myself and whoever my life partner may be. For far too many years, I’ve built walls, barricades, hell even a fortress around my heart out of fear of being hurt, betrayed and fooled again. My pride could not stand the idea of that ever happening again. Moreover, I never wanted my daughter to see that vulnerable side of myself with a man.

However, even in the mist of this battle brocade I was shrouding over myself, I still felt the whimperings and longings of a cohesive partnership.

I know the price for this to happen. I know I must be willing to lower some of the shields I have in place in order to show the universe I am willing and wanting to proceed in achieving such a partnership.

Am I scared? Yes! Am I willing to stop wasting my time and consider the possibilities? Yes! Will I succeed? Time will tell.