Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Threading Blog Hop


In the past weeks, I've participated in blog hops and have enjoyed it (more than I thought I would, actually).  I've seen its benefits and so I've decided to initiate one myself!  I hope a lot of you will participate and have fun!  Let's start threading through one blog after another!

Here are the simple rules if you want to join:

1.  Be a follower on Catharsis, but only if you genuinely enjoy what you see on here.  Please leave me comments too so I know where to visit you!

2.  Link yourself to the list below.

3.  Check out the other blogs listed on this blog hop and remember to leave comments so they can possibly follow you back.  If you don't know where to start, checking out the ones before and after you on the list is always a good start.

4.  Copy and paste the Thursday Threading Blog Hop button above and paste it on your blog so that more people can participate.  Again, this is optional.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Gray Skies Beam

THIS is my kind of day, my kind of Beautiful Day (the U2 way)!  It's very gloomy from where I am...thick, heavy gray clouds suspended and begging to burst. Yes, I love such days.  I find them relaxing and something about the gloom triggers introspection and sentimentality. Somehow, though I suspect that when U2 came up with 'Beautiful Day' they were actually envisioning a bright, sunny image, I also think the point is that the song applies to any kind of day.  

I particularly love that one line from the song that says "what you don't have, you don't need it now".  It's a mantra that I find very useful and have to constantly remind myself of.  

If you don't have it in your life, you don't need it now.  

What you have now, has a purpose in your life.

There is a reason you do not have what you do not have in your life now and it's because who you are at this moment has no need for it.  

You are where you need to be.

For someone who has a strong sense of insatiability, this kind of wisdom is quite difficult to  swallow.  I resist it.  I oftentimes find myself driven and consumed by my wants, my what ifs or could've beens.  Anything BUT the present, the now.  Don't get me wrong.  I know what gratitude means and I do my best to practice it.  However, admittedly, and sadly, it is not what fuels me.  I still find myself looking at the glass half-empty rather than half-full.  I still give in to the void instead of drowning it with whatever light I have in my life.  I give power to what is not there, instead of soaking in the energy of what is present and blessed.  

I see.  But seeing the path is not quite the same as treading it.  Seeing the glass half-full though makes me grateful that I at least see and am aware of which direction to aspire for.  Because as Master Yoda says, "Named must your fear be before banish it you can".

May the Force be with all of us!  Actually, TRUST that the FORCE IS with all of us.



Friday, April 22, 2011

In The Spotlight

Has many uses; adaptable; changeable...Alright, I guess I qualify!  Thank you, Sophia (Sophia The Writer), for passing this 'award' to me!  

The rules for this award are ---
*Thank and link to the person who nominated me.
*Share seven random facts about myself.
*Pass the award along to 15 new-found blogging buddies.
*Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Now here are my 7 Random Facts, some of which I've already included on my 25 random thoughts when it was the craze on Facebook a few years ago...remember that one?  Anyway...

1.  I am a Scorpio which translates to being passionate, intense, deep, loyal, brooding, complicated and also vengeful.  It's exhausting to live like this, most days, especially when I feel very intense about a lot of things, but I can't imagine living any other way.  

2.  As a child, I thought I was going to be a doctor.  When I entered the university, I was accepted in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program, but eventually ended up shifting to Sociology.  I found it more interesting to study actual people and behavior than molecules and numbers.  At this time in my life though, I am still uncertain as to what I really want to be, or want to do.  I'll probably die wondering.  Hopefully, I'll get to live life in between.

3.  I've always loved and felt sentimental about The Alligator King from Sesame Street.  Remember that one?  However, I've also always felt sad about it and found it a bit depressing, even as a child.  I'm not sure why.  Perhaps because the King ended up so miserable, or perhaps I felt the six children did not love him enough?  I don't really know.  This could just be me overanalyzing once again with much intensity.  Go figure!

4.  I've always been the type of person who never liked making decisions and would rather leave it to 'fate' or external circumstances to decide for me.  However more and more I find myself in situations where I feel the desire to make a decision but now the circumstances won't allow me to.  How funny.  (I'm not laughing though).

5.  I'm really bad at engaging in small talk.  I prefer deep and meaningful conversations, which is also part of the reason why I find it hard to develop new friendships.  I mean, how many people are really cool about meeting someone for the first time and being asked, "What is the greatest joy and deepest pain you've ever felt?"  

6.  I've just very recently tried Indian food, for the very first time!  I've feared it all this time and now I'm craving it.  I'm happy that I can still surprise myself sometimes.

7.  I believe Physics is an extremely spiritual science.  Much of the basic laws of matter and motion translate to spiritual laws which isn't really surprising, is it?  Everything in this world is energy after all.  

15 New-Found Bloggers I'm passing this award to----

1.  Alan of Greenbeans
2.  Bev of Wynnie Bee
3.  Sam of The Slight Detour
6.  TV of TV's Take
7.  Jenny P. of Mommy Snark
8.  Kelsi of Modern Mom Redefined
9.  Emerald of Unconditionally You
10.  Nekky of Reflexions
11.  Suzanne of List, Lust, Lost
14.  RJ's Mama of My Baby RJ
15.  Mrs. K of The Kitchen Of...The Chef's Wife

I hope you can visit the above blogs and see if you'll enjoy them as much as I do.  Congratulations everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Sometimes there's so much to say, the words get trapped in the labyrinth that's inside you. All tangled up, lost and disoriented.  And sometimes there's so much to say with such clarity as cool water that will undoubtedly quench one's thirst, but no one there to listen, no one to share in this flowing gift.  But it a gift, or a curse?  Do you really desire another soul to hear you, hear as you pull out those lost words from within, hear you agonize as you bleed them out?  And can you stop the bleeding once it starts?  Will your lost words, now found, find gentle cradling in another's hands, or will they be rejected like poison?  Is it really something you'd like to reveal or is it better off hidden, obscured, like an unassuming weed in the forest where no one would dare venture into?    

My thoughts are thoughts, and words are words.  Whether they remain in the dark forest, contained in a labyrinth, or seen, heard, received by another, they are words.  I have thought them and they've taken their breaths.  They will continue to thrive within me and consume me.  And as the Phoenix yearns to be consumed to rise and live again, so shall I gather my words like twigs to burn me and breathe life into me simultaneously.  Words and Self coalesced, each defining the other, living, yearning for eternity.     

Phoenix, Bird, Legendary, Mythical, Fictional, Line Art

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shine A Light Sunday (S.A.L.S.): 4.17.11

Welcome to Shine A Light Sunday where we put the spotlight on a few blogs worthy of your support!  These are blogs that I've been reading and have grown to love and I hope you enjoy them too!  

My Dishwasher's Possessed! --- Kathy posts every Sunday so expect to read something touching about family life at the start of each week.  She's very real about sharing her hectic family life which I'm sure helps in making the rest of us feel less alone.

Reflexions --- If you enjoy Catharsis, then I'm almost certain Reflexions will suit your palate as well.  Nekky's blog is another expatriate voice certainly worth listening to.

Mommy Snark ---Jenny has a lot of candid posts about family life, but I particularly enjoy reading her Servicemen Sunday posts where she features individuals serving in the armed forces and they get to tell us more about their work and families.  

Below are the S.A.L.S. Rules if you want to join in and pay it forward! ----

1.  Click on my Follow button (if you haven't done so), but only if you truly appreciate this blog and plan on coming back to read and comment on my posts.  That would make my day!

2.  Feel free to copy (right click) the SHINE A LIGHT SUNDAY image above to post on your own blog entry and kindly link back to this.

3.  Make a list of 3 to 5 blogs, with proper links of course, that have become your  favorites and that you would like to promote and place a spotlight on, so to speak.  It would be great if you can always include a few new blogs that you've discovered and have grown to love and feel might need more support in terms of readership/followers.  If you want, you can do a short write-up for each to give a brief background of the sites, or to explain why you love them.  I'm limiting this to 3 to 5 blogs because bear in mind that you can do this every Sunday or any Sunday you feel like it.

4.  Make sure you inform the blog authors of those 3-5 blogs you listed for the week that you've shone the light on them.  This way they can participate and pay it forward.  That's the most important part!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Your Move

Bird, In Flight, Wildlife, Interesting

I was horrified but equally felt sorry for it.  This big bird that accidentally entered our garage could not find its way out.  I watched as it flew round and round and I wondered to myself, 'Why can't you figure this out?  The garage door is wide open for you and all you need to do is fly a bit downwards and you're free.'

I felt its panic.  You can see how it was fluttering its wings and judging by the way it just went round and round, you can tell how disoriented and terrified it must've been.  I, on the other had, just watched and hoped it wouldn't attack me so I had a mop handle in my hand, not so much to protect myself, but more to attempt to redirect the bird.  Luckily, after about 3 minutes of circling, it found its way out and I'm sure it was relief for both of us.

It's not everyday that such things happen to people so given who I am, I felt Life had something important to say to me. The Universe can't always physically direct us to where we need to go so it's pretty much up to us to figure things out and find our way home. (And by home I mean wherever it is we need to be at certain points in our lives).  A lot of times we may feel like we've been going in circles, feeling like we're in a rut or some other terrible place and we just feel trapped.  I've learnt that the first step is to always believe that you are never trapped.  Just to make yourself believe that you do have choices is empowering and that step alone can release some of the panic and desperation that you may be drowning in.  

Just as I felt so frustrated with the bird for not being able to see the wide open garage door, sometimes we also get caught up with our worries that we fail to see wide open opportunities to change course. It's always easier to let momentum take over instead of acquiring authentic consciousness that will require us to step back, re-evaluate and make a real decision.  Newton's laws of motion have always been fascinating to me and I find them extremely 'spiritual'. (I've always declared Physics to be a highly spiritual science).  

In this case, the law of inertia serves our purpose.  Unless we do something different, introduce something different, we can't expect to really change course or even move at the very least.  And sometimes when we refuse to budge, life (always) finds ways to introduce that force that will prompt us to move and/or change course.  When this happens, it's not always pleasant but we do have to see beyond the unpleasantness of it to realize what the experience is trying to do to us, what it's truly telling us and teaching us about who we truly are.

Maybe you just got diagnosed with a new condition.  Maybe you're about to lose your job. Perhaps the numbers on the weighing scale just keep going up.  Or maybe your relationship is just not working out at all.  Whatever it is, know that it is telling you something important and prompting you to change something, to choose something else, do something else, believe something else.  Only when you stop going in circles will you see that wide opening waiting for you to take advantage of.  

Remember, "Do or do not...there is no try."--- Master Yoda

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hopping and Shining the Light


Today, I'm practicing what most serious bloggers have probably been doing for ages...Blog Hopping and being more active in the blogging community.  I just got back from visiting The Old Block House and Winnie Bee and participated in their Buzz By Sunday practice. 

For those who are unfamiliar with 'blog hopping', this simply refers to the practice of jumping from one blog site to another, visiting multiple blogs, reading their entries, commenting and finally, and most importantly, signing up as a Follower.  Now I know that some people really just do this randomly and their only objective is to gain a billion followers.  I'm not a believer in that.  The ideal situation is that you visit blogs and then genuinely enjoy reading the entries which then prompts you to truly connect with the writer/blog owner by regularly visiting the site and commenting (Yes, this is extremely important and I've repeatedly said that I LOVE reading your comments so please do take the time.  It's the only way the author could know that you are indeed reading his/her entries).  I am participating in this mainly to expand my readership (and build a virtual community) and also to learn from others who are equally dedicated to the improvement of their craft and/or dedicated to truly connecting with others via this medium.

Since bloggers are generally supportive of each other, I thought why not come up with a new activity that would truly encourage each of us to help each other out, especially those of us who are just starting out and really wish to have greater readership and visibility.  I have thus come up with Shine A Light Sunday (Yes it's still Sunday from where I live).

With Shine A Light Sunday (SALS), I will be 'advertising' some blogs that I have grown to love and I hope that you visit them too and follow them....again, ONLY IF you genuinely feel like it, if you truly feel they are worthy of your support.  I am a believer in the power of advertisement and I'm also a strong believer in free will.  Therefore, there will be no forced followers with this activity.  Yes, it would make me very, very happy and will definitely boost my morale if my readership/number of followers visibly increase, but I hope that your clicking on that 'Follow' button truly translates to reading, commenting, and genuinely appreciating this site, or any other blog site for that matter.  

So, here are the simple rules for Shine A Light Sunday, if you care to join in!---

1.  Click on my Follow button (if you haven't done so), but only if you truly appreciate this blog and plan on coming back to read and comment on my posts.  That would make my day!

2.  Feel free to copy (right click) the SHINE A LIGHT SUNDAY image above to post on your own blog entry and kindly link back to this post.

3.  Make a list of 3 to 5 blogs, with proper links of course, that have become your 'Favorites' and that you would like to promote and place a spotlight on, so to speak.  It would be great if you can always include a few new blogs that you've discovered and have grown to love and feel might need more support in terms of readership/followers.  If you want, you can do a short write-up for each to give a brief background of the sites, or to explain why you love them.  I'm limiting this to 3 to 5 blogs because bear in mind that you can do this every Sunday or any Sunday you feel like it.

4.  Make sure you inform the blog authors of those 3-5 blogs you listed for the week that you've shone the light on them.  This way they can participate and pay it forward.  That's the most important part!

Here are the blogs I'm shining the light on this Sunday!---

*Scrollwork: Quirkyisms From a Tropical Transplant to California --- Catchy title, isn't it?  Good, interesting writing too!

*The Slight Detour --- Do you want to meet a real novelist? She's also very sweet and friendly!

*TV's Take: Much To Question --- This one will make you think and she goes right to the point!  

See you all again next week for my other blog favorites!  Have a happy and blessed week everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I know that just yesterday I wrote about happiness and how experiences, more than just material things, make you happier.  But when you get material things that you actually need and want for FREE, doesn't that create such a happy experience?!?!

I just got this in the mail and boy, was I happy!  I don't even remember anymore what I had to fill out or what I signed up for or perhaps 'liked' on Facebook but that doesn't really matter anymore.  All I know is that I did not pay for this package at all and that's what makes it pretty awesome for me.

Inside this box was this beauty bag/ kit ...

 ...and these were the goodies inside---

Thanks, Target!  You made my day!  To my blog friends and readers, I promise that I will look into the possibility of giving away freebies in the near future.  After all, true happiness lies in being able to share your own joys!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are You Happy?

Earlier today, I was watching an Oprah episode on happiness.  This episode was originally aired in January, if I'm not mistaken, and thanks to our DVR, I've finally gotten around to watching it.  They covered a number of facts based on research on happiness some of which are the following:  that experiences create more happiness and a kind of happiness that lasts longer compared to the kind achieved through possession of material things (e.g. going on vacation vs. buying jewelry); that taking just one minute of complete silence per day can increase one's happiness levels; that showing up just once a month to a club you're a member of creates the same level of happiness as doubling your salary; that there is a genetic component to feeling happy/being able to experience happiness (eureka!).  Again, these are the facts I remember most and keep in mind that for the most part, they were referring to 'average' Americans.  I'm not clear as to what that means exactly, how they did their sampling, operationalized their variables or what the overall methodology was.  This was the Oprah show and not a scientific lecture I attended.  If you're interested to learn more though, you can grab this book-- Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

Anyway, all this talk about happiness made me think (understatementof a number of things about my own sense of happiness. Though it would be terribly unwise and irresponsible to be 'verbally' incontinent about all my reflections and realizations, I think I can safely share with you a few experiences that I feel make me genuinely happy:

*enjoying a remarkably exquisite meal (Charlie Trotter, let me just say that you once made me extremely happy and I will remember that meal for the rest of my life!).  By the way, food doesn't have to be expensive to be exquisite.  It just has to be interesting to the palate and quite memorable.
*having deep, meaningful conversations with people...I think nothing else makes me feel more connected to another human being than this and bathing in this feeling truly makes me happy.
*getting unexpected tight hugs, kisses and 'i love you's' from my two boys
*knowing that I've helped someone in real need, knowing I've made a difference in someone's life through expression of generosity, material or otherwise
*making my parents happy and proud of me...Believe it or not, it still counts even at my age.
*thinking, writing, finishing a meaningful blog entry, hitting that 'publish post' button....I guess I'll be happy very, very soon!

Have you thought about what sorts of experiences bring you happiness?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Annoyingly Sweet

This post was inspired by an online friend and fellow blogger Mia of Online Confessions of a SAHM.  On said post, she talked of how much her daughter loves Ernie from Sesame Street.  I loved Ernie too as a child and even related to this character so much that I thought I was him and that my sister was Bert.  One was naughty and jovial, the other more serious.  Mia's post reminded me of how much I miss the old Sesame Street with the old or original characters I grew up with, the Sesame Street B.E....Before Elmo.

I don't like Elmo.  He annoys me.  Maybe this is why when I saw this video so many years ago, I found it so cool, so funny and spot-on.  I know I've sent this to friends before and even reposted this on Facebook but I'd like to share it again on this site.  It's pretty clever! Check out the youtube link below and enjoy...if you have anti-Elmo sentiments, that is.

Friday, April 1, 2011

In The Mood For Change

I have once again given in to my blog tweaking addiction.  So if you have been visiting this site in the past few days (or minutes), I apologize for the changes that may have gotten too confusing.  Please bear with me and my fickle mind.  We can't seem to decide as to what mood or look to stick least for now.  I just thought it would be timely to change things a little bit with Noah getting older (and not have the newborn picture I used to have on the page) and our family migrating pretty soon.  I must say though that playing around with the HTML codes is quite fun and challenging.  I hope I don't seriously mess up anything.  Wish me luck!