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The Essence Of A Woman

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(photo credit: 3dpictures.feedio.net)

” Just being a woman is God’s gift.The origin of a child is a mother and  a woman.  She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.”  

 – Sushmita Sen of India, Ms. Universe 1994

Over the years, the concept of a woman has changed in various ways. People think that a woman’s femininity is based on superficial things such as dressing up like a model or a movie star, donning the latest fashion , make up and accessories. Or having a size-zero figure. That the Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Donna Karan of the fashion world are the only woman’s bestfriends  in life.  Nothing is wrong with all these “things”, but, a woman’s worth is more than just being a human mannequin ready to be displayed for the whole world to see and admire.

Recently, Vogue and Elle started  using  plus size women on their magazine covers. What does it mean? It means a woman deserves more. That you have more substance within that you can ever imagine.

So, what is something about you that really makes you some kinda wonderful? In the real world, femininity goes beyond the senses and logic. It goes beyond culture and tradition.

Womanliness Is About The Whole Package
Every woman is naturally built with a formidable force of characteristics that could weather all storms and turmoil.  You have the patience, gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, caring, sweetness, compassion and  tolerance – all these behaviors are generally considered feminine but can stand the test of time.

You as a woman has an innate kind of magic and mysterious aura in your personality . You are truly an enigmatic character that drives men crazy.

You have the power to hold the world in your bare hands – the hands that put a little baby to sleep, toil day and night to make the house clean, cook to have nutritious food at the table, mend the tears of your socks and reach out and give tight bear hugs when kids come home from school, body and ego all bruised up .

Can’t you see the power that lies in your hands?

You can be considered a ” Superwoman ” because you have a multi-track mind that makes you an expert in a lot of things which need to be done simultaneously. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, supervising homework, taking them to a doctor or school play rehearsals, tirelessly taking care of the husband and children. You are doing all these while carving your own niche in the career world.

You only has to rely on your own intuition and things will be right. It is your most reliable source of information when things seem confusing and out of whack. Men are scared of your intuitive power and makes them cringe when being asked about vital questions in a relationship – because you already have the answers even before you ask the question.

A woman’s instinct is one of your best weapons in motherhood because it helps  in the understanding of  the little babies and children’s behaviors.

Don’t you realized how cool is that?

Womanliness Is Ethereal
You are like an angel who falls down from heaven , bringing peace and harmony in the midst of wars and strifes. Healing the wounded and caring for the sick and lost souls.   You are the face of Florence Nightingale, Joan of Arc , Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Austen,  Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher, Audrey Hepburn , Marie Curie , Helen Keller and Amelia Earhart , all  rolled  into one.

You are the unsung heroine of the world. The mind , heart and soul of womankind. The face that launched a thousand ships. The best friend a man could ever have. The inspiration of countless love poems, movies, books and romantic songs. The better-half in a relationship.  Both the source of a man’s love and happiness, downfall and ordeal .

Where great monuments were built-in your memory and great cities were fell , destroyed, burned down to ashes and mourned for its ruins.  Because your beauty is  intoxicating and enchanting that men become irrational in your presence.

You have the charm of the singing sirens of the ocean in Shakespeare’s Odyssey, when  men were lured to their death. You have the love that makes men kneel down on your feet and beg. History is filled with stories like that.

Every woman is a gift from God. The Lord Jesus came from a holy , gentle and sacred woman.  All geniuses and heroes of the world are nurtured by their mothers’ tender love , care and understanding.

Behind every man’s success is a woman who gives support to every failure , cheers on the sidelines for every game he wins, and boost his morale for every insecurities and disappointments.

Only Half Of The Population, But The Reasons Are Endless
You as a woman has an inner goddess that is waiting to be unleashed. You have the body that shares the passion, intimacy and tender love with a man. Where the sacred union of two souls makes the angels in heaven sing in harmony. The so-called eleven minutes moment of bliss according to Paulo Coelho. You have the body that bears the children of the universe and the hope of the future generation. And the ethereal energy that drives the world to infinity.

The essence of woman is not in the color of your skin, the size of your clothes, the grayish hair, wrinkles on your face nor the numbers on a weighing scale.

It’s not in your failures and mistakes, nor your poverty and being uneducated. It’s not in your shortcomings nor imperfections.

You are mother earth and mother nature. You are Jesus Christ’s Mary and Adam’s Eve. You. Me. Us.  And the truth is, if you will really think about it , the woman in itself – is the essence.

A Mid-lifer’s Reflection in the Middle East

life is a journey

Life is a journey, as they say.  It can either be a great adventure or a sorry mishap.  There is no way of finding out if the road up ahead is a long and winding trail or if it ends up on a cliff.  I just back up and go find the detour sign so I can continue with my road trip no matter what.

It’s the same as aging.   Every year that is added to my age marks as a milestone in my journey through life.  It can be a high-five or a thumbs down. It can be a party or a bleh moment.  Either  it’s about  winning or losing.  But still life goes on.

WE ARE HERE TO LEARN LESSONS AND THE WORLD IS OUR TEACHER – Andrew Matthews

So, as I travel down the road, I meet different people along the way. I love them. I hate them.  I trust them. I argue with them.  Each meeting has a purpose. Perhaps, the reason is to show how to love and care, or help me get through life with ease. And that’s fine.  But what if they exist to give me challenges – or better yet, to teach me a lesson or two?   Ah, this one is a big discomfort .  But as the book Follow Your Heart says, ” The universe has no favorites .”   So, whatever that is, I still have to walk through life without a scratch and hopefully alive.

True, challenges and trials like, maybe – what the great gurus say – are just lessons in disguise.   It can be so scary and daunting at first glance, but when I come to think of it, I realized that problems are not really thrown my way just to make my life difficult. Problems are there because I need to find out the reasons why things happen and try my best to make a sense out of it.

These everyday experiences also apply to all the people in our lives – parents, children, spouses, friends, girlfriends, acquaintances,  relatives and colleagues at work.  In one way or another, differences spice up our lives.  Well, let’s face it – we all have different backgrounds, hobbies, likes, ideas, cultures and norms.   So, misunderstandings and disagreements are inevitable. In fact, they are as natural as breathing and sweating. That’s what being social  is all about. It’s either I fit or not.  Or, I can go for the high road which is to simply adapt and make a compromise.

LIFE IS NOT MEANT TO BE SIMPLE
In retrospect, reasons for my behavior can be anything – the desert heat ,  food allergies, migraine, too much work, sleepless nights, jerks in the workplace, family issues , time zone blues, mercury retrograde , insecurity, foul mood, someone’s pushing my buttons or miscommunication.   Maybe I just need to vent and you happen to be nearby. Or maybe out of boredom I want to do it for a change and it seems like a good idea.

It can also be because I am still hanging on to the nasty parts of my past . Or maybe,  I  have a gift for blurting out zingers.   And so like all human beings , I rant, get mad , scream , cry and lose my wits too.  At times, I don’t have any idea that my words hurt somebody . When it comes to other people’s behavior, maybe they are trying to do their best too.

But one thing I have learned a great deal about growing older is that I can accept other people’s  criticisms with an open mind and open heart. Because they have a better view of me and the situation which – whether I admit it or not – sometimes is being blinded by pride and cynicism.

Other people can see something that I do not see because in the heat of the moment I am irrational and incoherent.  I become defensive because there is a part within me that I need to fight for.  There is a part that bleeds to the core. It feels like being blown to smithereens.  And the sad part of it is, when people never hear your side of the story – and they don’t even bother to find out. So, whatever reasons they have , I respect that.   But blaming other people or midlife crisis is not a mature way of dealing with life. I really need to OWN it.

DETACHMENT
Whenever I fall flat on my face and hit rock bottom, sometimes, the only option is to go away from it all. Either leave a relationship, friends, job , house, parents or even a country. It doesn’t really mean giving up on something good, losing hope nor surrendering my ideals. It is not even a good way to escape reality. Oftentimes, one simply disappears because it is the right thing to do. By taking a few steps back , I can take a deep breath, analyze the situation and view life objectively.  And once the decision is made, it is for the good of all.

Detachment gives me the needed time to think, regroup and weigh my options. Through the guidance of the Higher Being,  I can see the light and find the answers. Because I can’t think right if my mind is in absolute chaos.  One can only find peace in silence, meditation and prayer.

NO EFFORT IS WASTED
What do I do when I really get lonely or scared?  I shout. I sing. I run. I meditate. I clean the house. I watch comedy movies. I write on my journal. I pray. I sleep a lot. I do a heart-pouring sobs  and do it for a day or so, then I get over with it. I believe resistance to the feelings is unhealthy to the mind and the spirit.   I just have  to go with the ebb and flow of everything. Let nature takes its course. Because I simply can’t  force things to happen my way.

Then the big  ” aha moment, ” comes and I tell myself, ” okay now, stop the drama and all these self-righteousness mantras and just get back on track.” I think of an imaginary big circle around me that serves as a force field and protects me from being hurt emotionally . It quiets down the shitstorms in my mind.

As we grow older, if we focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses, our mind-set will see the brighter side of things instead.  Age is not about the number of years I live, but how well I can face austerity with greater wisdom and strength.  I realized that , midlife should not be about a period of stress, fear and anxiety, as people commonly think.  But, instead a moment of self acceptance and letting go of things that I cannot change. It is a period of learning from the mistakes of my youth, so  I can bring and share this knowledge to my daughters and future grandkids, and to equip myself  better  for the second half of my lifetime .

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE , NOT AN AUTO-RESPONSE- Anonymous

It doesn’t really matter if the people in my life is right or wrong, or if it’s their fault or mine. I would rather be happy than right. Middle age makes me look at life with a different perspective and understanding. This is my way of reaching out to all the people I have caused pain and in the same way, I am releasing the anger and hurt feeling which holds me down. I choose forgiveness. I choose happiness. Period.

Being a fortyish woman , I know I am still a work in progress but I want to rise above it all. This time, things are handled better and I hope, wiser. I don’t want to let my age define me as a person like a curse or something. I am embracing each year that is being added to my life because I am leading not the path of perfection but for greater knowledge and wisdom that every failure or mistake  will simply bring out the best in me.

LOTR: Rediscovering The Lost Art of Poetry, Hail To Sir Tolkien!

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 (photo credit: wallpapervortex.com)

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

                                                                         – The Song Of Aragorn, The Lord Of The Rings

I am a great fan of the epic masterpiece Lord of the Rings and I recently enjoyed the prequel movie, ” The Hobbit ” . The box office hit movies by the director Peter Jackson were based on the novels of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien better known as J.R.R. Tolkien. According to Tolkien’s biography, his novels were the realization of his own fantasy world and mostly based on the British folklore and mythology. The movie trilogy was the amazing result – created through the combined magic of visual technique, epic music, digital art , wizardry, literature , history and poetry.

I can consider Tolkien a genius for creating the Elf alphabet by using the Tengwar script for his fictional universe of Ea.  But I am not writing about the famous Elvish language. This article is about my recent fascination with Tolkien’s movies which paved the way again for writing poems.  He was also known both for being a classical poet and a prolific writer.

 Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

                                    – Excerpt, One Ring

Poetry, according to Wikipedia (from the Greek word  ” poiesis ” ) which means ” to make or to create ” is a form of literary art . It is a kind of language which uses rhythm and aesthetic to create an idea with meaningful expression and evoke an emotional response.

In the old days , poetry was the most respected form of literary genre. I, too,  was charmed by seductive lure of the written prose and narratives.  It has even become an addiction because, I can’t help buying more, when I already have a bookshelf filled with many partially unread books.  Well, read or unread, still , I consider them as my treasures.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men,
with mortal and immortal folk,
with bird on bough and beast in den,
in their own secret tongues he spoke.

                                                – Excerpt, Frodo’s Laments for Gandalf

Undeniably, something magical happens when one is able to relate to the stories when reading books. It feels like I am Jasmine of Aladdin who was being transported on a magic carpet ride to a far , far away land in 3D, or like Dorothy who was swept out of Kansas by a twister to the Land of the Oz. It is both magical and enchanting.

Those kind of experiences you get out of book reading feel so great – but my recent fascination for the LOTR has opened the door once again to the wonderful world of poetry. I have been writing poems in high school but books have ruled my life ever since.

Poetry reading or writing for me is like saying a little prayer – a kind of meditation that brings peacefulness and silence to the core of one’s soul.  It is a great therapy for releasing tension and healing heartaches. The rhythmmical and beautiful composition stirs all kinds of wonderful emotions and memories for the reader. It is like a journey to the past and an adventure to the future but only with a blink of an eye.

 For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.”

                                                                                                          – Excerpt, I Sit And Think

With my recently published poems like the ” Springtime in Middle-Earth” , ” Through the Rain” , ” Purple Tree and Poetry” ,”Random Acts of Happiness” and “I Am A Restless Soul” , I am glad to find my muse again in creating poems.

I love the work of Maya Angelou’s ” Still, I Rise” about racism and inequality. Also, Shel Silverstein’s , ” Hug O’ War ” about hugging and  having fun and ” The Perfect High ” which is about a junkie’s adventure and knowing the wisdom behind it. They are only two of the great literary geniuses of this generation and my own favorites by far.

Of course, we can’t just forget the works of other great classical poets like Keats, Plath , Wordsworth and Frost. This blog serves as my ode to the masters since last April we also celebrated the National Poetry Month. Their contributions to the literary world were both unparalled and timeless. And for as long as there are many other aspiring poets like me who will write poems, the art is never ever lost.

 Though here at journey’s end I lie
In darkness buried deep,
Beyond all towers strong and high,
Beyond all mountains steep,
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
Nor bid the Stars farewell.|

                                                      – Excerpt, Journey’s End

Sunset Over Villa Suhaila

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gently fading away
shadow casting lights
of orange,  as it paints
the gray blue sky
it makes one realize
how time quickly passes by

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the lonely sky darkens
listen to the quiet sunset
as it falls down the horizon
a gazebo and date palm trees
in silhouette
whispering a silent goodbye
for a reason

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like a lover who walks away
or a gentle kiss
as the baby’s fast asleep
like a prayer at the
end of each day
or an angel’s fading vision
in a dream

i glance at the
warm blades of grass
under my feet
and crimson sunset
above my head
the warming rays
upon my face
feeling the warmth
of the late afternoon heat

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i still feel joyous for the
darkened trails
and the shadows far beyond,
for the night
maybe dark and long
and the clock seems
to stop ticking
but sunset is no reason to fret
cos it is just there hiding

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tomorrow is another day
and God gives us
a new and brighter sunrise
as we face another battle
as we become wise
a life of hope and joy
and lessons to learn yet
and a strong and faithful heart
that will last through
another sunset.

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The Colors of Summer

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As the glint of bright sunlight through the clouds strikes my eyes, a song from the past suddenly plays in my mind.

” Sweet days of summer, the jasmine’s in bloom.
July is dressed up and playing her tune.
And I come home from a hard day’s work,
And you’re waiting there, not a care in the world.
See the smile a-waitin’ in the kitchen, food cookin’ and the plates for two.
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind. “

                                                               – by Seals &  Croft , 1972

Ah yes, summertime is just around the corner.

It’s colorful and enchanting. It’s bright and free.

There is a feeling of great anticipation, like a comforting thought of a warm embrace.

Every coming of the season carries wonderful memories of our youth . How can one forget the wild fun and outdoor games ?  What about first loves and sad parting ways?  Oh, I remember with a smile… a lover’s stroll on the beach, hand in hand, under the late afternoon sun.   A picnic in the park with families.  Playful fun with our dogs at the backyard.  Moments of giggles about secret crushes with girl buddies .  Nice barbecue parties.  Fishing in the lake with brothers or friends.  A visit to grandparents house in the country, with sweet aromas of pies and freshly baked bread in the oven.  A soft scent of new mown hay.   A magnificent porch view of a beautiful flower garden.

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Oh, how I adore these floral beauties . I walk to the glass window and see a dramatic mixture of rainbow colors in pastel shades , subtle greens, softest yellow, creamy whites.  There are also  bright oranges, dark violets and striking fuchsias and reds.

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As I view the blossoming flowers around the neighborhood – in their picture-perfect splendor –  and in different shades and sizes,  I can’t help but wonder how God was feeling after He created them – along with the birds, trees and mountains. He must have been so ecstatic and exhilarated for making such beautiful creations.  Imagine a world without them.   Summer is not summer without the flowers in bloom indeed.

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Seeing them is like looking into a kaleidoscope of colors in hues of red, pink, yellow, orange and violet.   It gives me a sense of joy and tranquility with the same Zen-like effect in a Buddhist Temple.

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There is a floral variety of lilies, petunias, daisies, roses , sunflowers, jasmines and bougainvilleas.   I soon discovered that flowers not only satisfy my eyes but are a blessing to one’s health.

Based on the Emotional Impact of Flowers Study in 2005 , it says,  ” Nature has actually provided us a simple way to improve emotional well-being – flowers.  The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner far beyond what is normally believed.   It has long-term positive impact on moods for those who receive it .”

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Hmmm.. so, come to think of it, that’s the reason why we give flowers to our loved ones, to the sick and to the desperate.  Or to acknowledge something wonderful or a certain good deed.  It is a form of human expression that transcends boundaries.

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Even giving a lovely daisy found along the road will give someone a warm smile. Or sending a lovely picture to a dear friend on a special occasion.

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Flowers are a wonderful reminder of our past summers and the symbol of anticipation for the next one. With my mobile phone camera in hand –  as I walk around the neighborhood –  I have the sudden urge to take pictures of these pretty flowers in sight to capture the beauty of one of God’s wonderful creations.

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Soon enough, this season will come to an end (without you knowing it ) as the other seasons do.  But surely , as the days of summer go by , these pictures will be etched in my memory like the same old song that goes…

” … summer breeze, makes me feel fine , blowing through the jasmine in my mind .  ”

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Through The Rain

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Looking out of the window
as the early morning rain falls
Drizzling and falling
as I lean against the wall

My mind drifts to a far away thought
as the lonely sky weeps
To a bite that stings or to
a wounded heart that bleeds

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Imagining the raindrops fall on my face
and wash away my tears in haste
Because no one will see the pain
as I soak myself in the cold November rain

Asking myself a thousand questions
why the world is filled with pain and confusion
or why hearts are filled with hate or aggression
when we are all living as one nation?

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Will reason rule my heart
or let the madness tear me apart?
And will the heavy pouring drown me
or will I just run away and be free?

Will I ever give up on my dreams
or will I just let myself go ?
Will I have enough strength
to fight and beat my foe?

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I will let this moment be
let it go through my mind and see
What really God is telling me
of why it always rain on me.

But funny how the clouds and I become friends
like a love affair that never ends
For a magic moment like this
a sacred ritual of joy and bliss

And so I look up the sky
as I heave a long, deep sigh
To hell with all the fears and pain
’cause, I’m gonna make it through the rain.

Random Acts of Happiness

happiness project

                                                              ( a pretty picture found on the web)

catching deep breath, waking up in the morning
smiling at angels, hearing church bells ring …
saying a little prayer , greeting the day
stretching your muscles, basking in the sun’s rays

looking on the horizon , making a wish
mixing lemonade or cooking a dish …
baking bread, drinking coffee or tea
wondering what the future might be

listening to hummingbirds, picking flowers
playing with dogs, greeting others…
laughing with a child, lending an ear
giving a hug, wiping tears and facing fears

writing poems, reading a book
laughing out loud, changing outlook…
creating art , composing a song
dancing to the music all night long

loving our spouses, caring for elders and children
visiting relatives, sharing secrets with friends …
working with colleagues, obeying our bosses
gaining profits and avoiding losses

gardening for vegetables, fixing broken roofs
hiking on a mountain , even playing hoops …
chasing rainbows and waterfalls , running for health
travelling to distant places, working for wealth

feeling grateful, enjoying life
building bridges , filling gaps…
releasing anger, forgiving others
searching for truth is all that matters

praying for lost souls ,meditating for peace
watching sunsets, walking on the beach …
going on a sail, fishing for a trout
and thinking what life is all about

sharing stories or learning a lesson
living life to the fullest, leaping into the unknown …
thinking positive thoughts, hoping for success
writing down goals, wishing for the best

lending a hand, helping a charity
fighting for freedom, supporting advocacy …
having wisdom ideas and reason
respecting individuality, culture and religion

and returning to bed at the day’s end
feeling grateful, saying a thank you prayer again …
keeping the faith, praising to high heavens
and Loving God above all, Amen.