Maktub. (It is written.)

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“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action.
Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

One more day until a brand New Year. The calendar starts again and so can you. But, I’m not a fan of clean slates. You can’t keep wiping the slate clean and starting over every year. How can you ever achieve anything with that kind of latitude? No, you have to start your life somewhere. You have to draw the line in the sand and say from this day forward I will hold myself accountable for bla bla bla (insert hopes and dreams here). I’m not saying that you can’t have do-overs. Of course, everyone deserves a second chance or sometimes even a third. Life is hard. We are all amateurs trying to wing it. No one has a script; We are bound to miss a few cues and mess up our fair share of lines. So, cut yourself some slack and take a deep breath. Nothing is as bad as you think it is… NOTHING!

The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

If you are reading this and going through a hard time, I promise you it will pass. You will remember my words in a year and know I was right. As they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and all you have to do is TAKE THE STEP.

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?”
“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become  controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

Have you read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho? I’m yearning to read it again. All the quotes in this post are from the book. My dad gave me a copy for my 30th birthday and it honestly has changed my life. It is a simple story, really. A boy’s quest to find a hidden treasure and the lessons learned along the way, all summed up in a little over 100 pages. The book is very unassuming. But, the message is very powerful, life altering. TAKE THE STEP.

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

How true! We cling on to people and things thinking they are part of us, not realizing that everything, everyone is part of something bigger. Our lives are like intersecting circles, some bigger than others. But, the universe is grand, wise and it encompasses all. It has endured and survived many trials. We can learn from its quiet strength and silent resolve. TAKE THE STEP.

“Don’t think about what you’ve left behind” The alchemist said to the boy as they began to ride across the sands of the desert. “If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.”

So, make a decision. Start your journey and mark the beginning. Figure out what you want…and I don’t mean material things. WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT? What is the treasure hidden in the depths of your heart? What moves you to your core? Seek it with reckless abandon. It is never too late to begin your life, so don’t sell yourself short. Believe in your own myth. Maybe you don’t believe in God and all this sounds phony to you… I understand that what I brew is not for everyone. But, don’t forget that your life touches many others and they believe in you. Please, TAKE THE STEP. This is my sincere New Year’s wish for you.

Whiteout

lights snow
Dusted in flour
And littered in marshmellows
The earth is mother nature’s kitchen tonight
As she sifts and strains the air
Rises in the chimeney tonight
Wrapped in a blanket
The aroma of the storming brew
chills my aching bones tonight
Covered in powder
And decked in brilliance
The windowsil is ready for her debut tonight

Christmas Message

There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one language, the language of the Heart;
There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity;
There is only one law, the law of Karma;
There is only one God, He is Omnipresent!

-Sri Satya Sai Baba

This is a real story of love.

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Every woman should experience a kind of love where she is worshipped, put on a pedestal, cherished and made to feel like the most important thing in the whole world to someone, even if for a millisecond. Because let’s face it, it’s good for our egos.
But, every woman should immediately recognize that this is not real.

Scene 1:
We stayed up all night talking, drinking and kissing. I don’t remember falling asleep, but when I woke up, sometime during the day, he was staring at me. I blushed and he moved a single piece of hair from my eyes and said to me in a honeyed voice, “I always knew I would meet a girl like you.” Whatever doubts I had about him vanished at the precise moment and I embraced him without any reservation. Does this sound like a scene from a movie? Well, it is 100% real and it is exactly how it happened to me. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I remember the room, the lighting and even the color of the pillow I slept on. I was 21 years old, eager to begin my life and ready to fall in love. And, here was a man who saw me as a goddess; he couldn’t believe his eyes.

Scene 2:
I remember riding in his old beat up Buick to Charlotte. It was 10PM on Friday night and we had decided on a whim to drive 3 hours to see our friends for the weekend for my 25th birthday. We were crazy in love. We were spontaneous, not a care in the world. I remember holding his hand and saying to him that my heart was ready to burst. It sounds cheesy doesn’t it? But, hard to believe that I still remember the feeling. It is so fresh in my mind. The perfect blend of hope and anticipation with a heavy dusting of lust. That is how we took ours. Strong, intense and robust.

Stay with me here…

Scene 3:
I was 28 years old when he proposed to me. I came home from a business trip to find the apartment clean and the laundry done. Yes, we were living in sin. The dining table was set and he poured me a glass of wine. I remember that he asked me to come over to the living room but I was too tired from my trip. He didn’t give up. He gathered me in his arms and brought to the couch and kissed me intently as he gently sat me on the chair. He took my breath away with that kiss. I was dizzy. Then, he got on one knee and my heart began to race a million miles. I knew what he was doing, but for the life of me I don’t remember what he said. I remember his face, his eyes… and his voice, ah that moment was truly magical. I said yes and proudly accepted his declaration of neverending love. It was a fairy tale moment and I was beginning my forever with my very own Prince Charming.

Each scenario is from a different relationship and all of those relationships ended, eventually. These relationships ended, not because it was lacking in love or romance, but, because it was lacking in real life. I read an article recently about how our taste in partners drastically changes as we age. We are genetically programmed to fall in love with a certain type of guy in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and so on. The article brings up the age old biological clock quandary. Women are looking for security in a partner. But, what happens when gender roles diffuse and women become more and more independent? What is our motivation then for choosing Mr. X vs. Mr. Y? There is another hot debate over women’s fertility rates in decline; that fewer women are having babies these days and even then, they are having them much later in life. So, what is happening to men’s role in today’s society? What is the ultimate purpose of being in a relationship?

Every woman should experience a kind love which sweeps her off her feet, at some point in her life. But, once the euphoric heart palpitations subside, every woman should seriously evaluate her partner for what he brings to the table. Ask yourself, what is point of being in a relationship with this particular person? Forget his boyish charm and good looks for a minute and ignore the fact that he is a doctor or an investment banker. Forgo the hallmark holidays and what the movies tell you about love and romance. I think we are brainwashed into thinking that love has to mean a certain thing, a series of actions which must be recreated over and over and re-enacted in a thousand different ways. There is nothing original anymore. Life is 100% not a movie or a dream. Love has nothing to do with fairy tales or heroes and heroines in lala land pursuing magical unicorns. Relationships are really hard work, day in and day out, by real people who are flawed, incompatible and dysfunctional in a variety of ways. Ask anyone who has been in a relationship for a long time and they will tell you that the secret sauce to their success is not the ‘Kodak moments’ as we like to imagine, but the daily grind of committing, recommitting, compromising, giving, taking, negotiating and renegotiating, especially when you don’t want to, for your wants and needs.

I’m single by choice and not even on the prowl for a partner. I’m taking a break from the circus. The only time I even acknowledge my status is when I’m confronted by a TV commercial glorifying love- especially during this time of year, or when I catch a romantic comedy- I can’t believe they still make these movies. But, I quickly snap out of it because I remind myself that I’ve had some great loves in my life and I’ve shared a mixed bag of life experiences with them. I’ve no hard feelings about anything! My expectation for a partner has definitely changed, but it has nothing to do with my ticking clock or social definitions. Real love to me, is ‘hold my hand’ companionship and ‘got your back’ friendship. It’s is about making a deliberate choice to be in it together, each and every day.

Chew on this…

The difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent.
The difference between stupid and intelligent people – and this is true whether or not they are well-educated – is that intelligent people can handle subtlety.
-Neal Stephenson

Happy Friday!

Random Musings

Yes is the answer, what is the question?
Yes is the feeling, what is the mood?
Yes is the outcome, what is the point?

Mantra

angel

There is no right or wrong, only love
An angel said to me
Out beyond the gate where strangers meet
I heard a voice call my name
Come with me, don’t follow me
Step into the firestorm
Claim the path that is following you
Let the warrior win
You are love, you are right
You are the essence of life

There is no black or white, only light
An angel said to me
Deep inside the chasm where shadows live
I heard a voice chant my name
Don’t give up, don’t be afraid
Dive into the mysterious
Grab your life by the raging horns
Unleash the beast within
You are pure, you are white
You are the incarnation of light

There is no good or bad, only you
My angel said to me
Out in the universe where particles collide
I heard a voice hum my name
Take my hand, never let it go
Melt into the reverie
Close your eyes and open your heart
Set your soul alight
You are true, you are good
You are the embodiment of love