At the start of COVID-19, I decided on one goal for myself – this is to develop my digital skills. This was in April 2020. Since then I have done several things including starting a Mags FB Live session at 9:00a.m. which I later branded as #magsmorninginspiration and then a new series #Soulinspiringplaces. Both of these have now been added to Mags Magazine. Working through this process has been rewarding, educational, thought provoking and has made me become more aware of the story teller inside of me which is longing to be more visible to the world. This project kept me motivated through COVID-19 and will continue to be a focus for me. It is not perfect yet but I learnt to let go of perfection a long time ago and embrace myself, my life and my experiences as a work in progress… always excited about my ‘what’s next?’ Did you set any goals during the COVID-19 period?
Here is my latest video: #4 Soul Inspiring Places – Britannia Park
What places inspire you?
What places make you feel more aligned to your soul and spirit as you walk through them?
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As a immigrant, it is inevitable that we lose connection with some of our family members. This is perhaps one of the saddest parts of immigration. The next saddest part is that children miss out on the dynamics of extended family, if they migrate only with their parents. Parents also face low moments when they wish they were nearer to their siblings and in particular parents whom they left behind. It is therefore important that we build ways to preserve our family roots.
Several years ago when Family Day was introduced as a holiday in Ontario, I remember thinking, ‘hummmm… everyday should be family day.’ At that time, my immediate family (3 kids and myself) was small and we spent quite a lot of time together with the everyday routines of cooking, doing chores, homework, shopping etc. One of the routines which I have always maintained at home is having meals together. When the kids were younger, this was easier to do on a regular basis. Now, it is more challenging. Holidays like Family Day adds a special day on the calendar which helps us to pause and creates another opportunity of getting together.
As a immigrant, it is inevitable that we lose connection with some of our family members. This is perhaps one of the saddest parts of immigration. The next saddest part is that children miss out on the dynamics of extended family, if they migrate only with their parents. Parents also face low moments when they wish they were nearer to their siblings, extended family and in particular parents if left behind. It is therefore important that we build ways to preserve our family roots.
During our Sunday dinner last night, I explained some of our family roots to my children and after dinner, two of them continued the conversation for another two hours because they were intrigued by some of what I shared and wanted to know more. I have taken care to be particular about what I share, based on their age. After relating a particular story about how our family lost some of it’s inheritance over some of the deals which my dad made while he was drunk, my oldest son said, “Now this example, right here, is why I don’t want to drink to do stupid things like this.”
As I shared more with them, I became very nostalgic about some of my childhood memories. For example when my cousins came over to visit from the neighbouring towns and the fun we had playing together while our parents also enjoyed having their own adult conversations. I remember moonlight nights when we played hide-and-seek outside, running amongst the trees, behind the houses and scaring each other. I remember how two or three of our families would gather together over the summer holidays and take us all to the beach where the men in the family went out to collect sea urchins while the women cooked on fire pits and the children played on the sand. There were the days over the summer holidays when several family members went over to one home to build a new room or lay a roof over a house. Food was constantly exchanged, conversations were long and ongoing, quarrels were occasionally heard, the men drank rum and even though their wives got upset with them, they carried on with the business of the home.
Back then, when I think of the word ‘family’ it seemed encompass so many other people in addition to my immediate family of two parents and six children. These people who were all intermingled in our lives in an intimate way – there were uncles and aunts, cousins, grandparents, in-laws, in-laws of in-laws. godmothers and godfathers and neighbours who were not only those who lived next to you, but from the entire community. There were those who lived in the countryside where we lived and those who ivied in the city and those who lived in faraway lands like England who visited occasionally. When they did visit, there was a lot of fuss about preparing for them. They seemed to be more sophisticated than us.:) But most importantly, we all seemed to fell belonged to a tribe – we knew who we were. The sense of belonging to a big family was perhaps one of the most grounding forces of my young life.
As an immigrant mother, I know that my children have had great opportunities here in Canada and I will always be grateful to Canada and the amazing people I have met here. I know that I have wonderful friends who have embraced them us our family and this has helped in the integration process. Travelling back and forth can be costly but I encourage my children to go back to their homeland as much as possible to connect with their family. My daughter has been routinely making the trip home every summer and I can see how an understanding of her roots is shaping her young adult life. I can also see how those who don’t go back often enough, life myself now, is also losing connection.
Living in both worlds has advantages and disadvantages but here are a few things which you can do to keep your family memories alive in the minds of your family:
1) Work with family members to create a family tree with photographs of family members. Keep photos of those who may not be here in Canada or may have crossed over. Over time, their curious minds want to know more about their history and photographs are great to start a conversation.
2) Create moments over days like Family Day when you can share stories about members of your family. Stories do not always have to be about perfect people – because most of our family members are not :). Share realities of life from your part of the world and the experiences which helped to shape you. Let them know the names of those who were influential in your life – in making both good and bad decisions. There are also funny family stories and sad stories which can be shared based on the age of the kids.
3) Expose them to very special foods and traditions from your family roots. When my kids were younger, I remember that they were not too eager about our foods but over time they because very appreciative about foods which my mom and dad prepared. Now, they are keeping the traditions going.
4) If you cannot travel back to your home country often, create moments when they can talk to family members over skype and other social media platforms. When they are small, they may not take much interest but as they get older, hey may be able to establish better connections. My friend Aparna shared her experience with her mom who lives in India, calling her grandkids every night to read them bedtime stories. This is surely a beautiful way to keep the connection to family.
5) Create new family through work and friends. Expose your children to the children of friends and create opportunities for them to meet and play with each other. Family does not have to be only through blood. Creating a family environment support social integration and removes the feeling of isolation.
Keeping family together is of utmost priority. I have learnt that gathering togehter for meals is perhaps the best way for long conversations that can create the bridge between countries and unite families.
You can support my work by liking, sharing, commenting or purchasing Soulful Encounters, a hard copy of my 2nd Magazine which provides inspirational stories.
I have fantasized about walking through a vineyard more times than I can count. My fantasy became true today and I could not be happier! One item checked off from my bucket list!
I have fantasized about walking through a vineyard more times than I can count. My fantasy became true today! One item checked off from my bucket list!
I must confess that I have felt jealous when my friends talk about their vineyard experiences. I have researched countless vineyards across Ontario and Quebec and drooled over the photos and the experiences from the visitors. Each summer (for the last 6 summers), I have had it on my list of things to do but somehow never got to it. What is it that draws me to a vineyard? I believe that it all started from reading romance novels when I was in my teens. The couples who walked through the vineyards were always in love and the vineyard seems to be a perfect place to walk and celebrate their love. Some couples even got married at vineyards. I also love wine and grapes. So if you put it all together my attraction to vineyards can be summed in three words: romance, grapes and wine!
This is another re-affirmation for me that we simply need to keep on reminding ourselves of the things which we want to experience in this lifetime. The earth is our school as much as it is our playground. Whatever we can imagine has the potential of becoming our reality. Keep your visions, dreams and ideas alive by constantly revisiting them. They may not happen right away but don’t lose hope – as long as it is in the vortex, it is only a matter of becoming aligned for the manifestaion to happen.
Here are some photos to enjoy. Being in nature is the best thing for the spirit.
What is on your bucket list? Do you need to create a list of the things you wish to experience in this lifetime? Start today and go after each one!
Over the last couple of weeks, I have experienced a bunch of people, including myself – WINNING something or the other, or even WINNING someone! Two of my friends are getting married!
Christmas brings on that magical feeling that boosts our feelings of giving and receiving gifts, love and treasures all around us. There are many more opportunities to participate in social activities and most people seem to be in good spirits.
At our Christmas staff party, I won a beautiful collection of teas. Several other colleagues also won prizes from performances or by participating in a raffle draw.
At a recent fundraiser, two of us won prizes from our tables, after my partner had jokingly sang, “abakadabrah… abakadabrah” on our tickets! We have decided to take him to all future fundraisers!
Those wins made me think about many other times I have won prizes such as a $10,000 prize draw for furniture, a job, a box of Christmas gifts, a lunch basket, a wine glass which can hold an entire bottle of wine, etc… what made all those wins come together?
Have you won something?
During my first year at college, I participated in a Math Competition and won! During the game, my Math Professor whispered to me, “Your confidence is shaking your opponents.” At the end of the game they too told me that I was so confident in myself, that they gave up before they even tried to win! We all laughed but I also knew that they were much brighter at Math than I was!
Was my confidence the winning factor?
So what is the magic formula for winning?
I conclude that it is simply SHOWING UP!
You don’t stand a chance if you don’t show up for opportunities and be willing to take risks.
Showing up for our lives means being present and also being emotionally, intellectually and socially connected to ourselves and others.
We show up for our lives when we:
speak positive messages to ourselves
participate fully in opportunities which are available to us
communicate our needs, desires, wants to others
allow ourselves to be vulnerable
have an open heart
be attentive to the needs of others
create opportunities where gaps exists
are confident that we are winners in every aspect of our lives
meditate, dress up, take care of our bodies, exercise and invite good energy into our lives!
There are also our every day wins like waking up healthy, having access to good health care, being part of a loving family, having a job, coping with loss and tragedy in our lives, having our senses intact, having good friends and access to finance, letting go of what no longer serves us.
Grab your small wins and consider yourself a winner at life!
Remember too that you cannot win the lottery without a ticket!
Kindness is the most beautiful gift which you can give to another and it makes you a magnet for wonderful opportunities and lasting friendships. Being kind in thought, word or deed can boost your positive vibration immediately… so do not delay in improving your life through kindness!
Kindness is the most beautiful gift which you can give to another and it makes you a magnet for wonderful opportunities and lasting friendships. Overall, your life can significantly improve by simply being kind! Kind thoughts, words and deeds have an invisible force in the universe which has no logical explanation! Those who experience and live kindness, are happier and more fulfilled human beings because they understand their connection to this universal energy.
Why is kindness so important now?
If you think about your experiences over the last week, I am sure that you will recall some incident of unkindness in your family, at work, online, in the community or in the bigger world where you don’t live! The universe is suffering from a deficit of kindness right now. The solution is that each one of us must take responsibility to deposit acts of kindness in the world for a better tomorrow.
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” -Albert Schweitzer
Kindness attracts kindness. It costs zero dollars but can earn huge profits!
Here are ten small things which you can do to show kindness:
Be kind to yourself first. Show appreciation for yourself by taking care of your beautiful body. Our bodies love it when we show it love. Movement, fresh air, clothes to fit our personalities, a nice hair cut, an extra touch to remind yourself how beautiful you are. Look in the mirror every day and thank your body for showing up with you every day. Affirmation: “I am kind to myself.”
Be kind with your thoughts. Watch your thoughts and you will notice patterns. Our thoughts can be our biggest enemy. Are you thinking good thoughts of yourself and others? Do you get frustrated easily? Do you think other people are annoying? Are you having an ongoing mental chatter that leaves you feeling anxious and aggravated? Affirmation: “I think kind thoughts of myself and others.”
Be kind in your judgements of others. Let judgements go as much as possible. We are all work in progress and we are on our unique journey. Sometimes we may not understand why people do what they do… but hey… you don’t need to be unkind towards them. Affirmation: “I release any harsh feelings which I have towards others.”
Be kind to those who don’t celebrate or enjoy the holiday season. Not everyone feels happy during the holiday season. For some people, it is a very difficult time – they may be grieving from loss, they may not have the financial means to have an enjoyable holiday season, they may be missing loved ones… it is important to get to know the people in your circle and understand their particular context so that you can respond to their needs. Affirmation: “I understand and appreciate you.”
Be kind when connecting to others. Make time to connect and reconnect with those who are close to you. This can happen in the form of a telephone call, a letter, a social media message, a visit… but let them know that you are thinking of them. Bring up pleasant memories. Give them a compliment. Say something nice to them. Affirmation: “My family and friends are important. I feel happy connecting to them and I establish good vibrations.”
Be kind to those in your family. Is anyone feeling stressed? Unhappy? Do they need a small act of kindness to bring joy in their lives? It can be as simple as asking, “What can I help you with today?” or as reassuring as, “Why don’t we go to the movies this evening?” Everyone needs a little kindness. Affirmation: “I am kind to each member of my family.”
Be kind to strangers. cup of coffee? A smile? A conversation? A new social media connection? “Affirmation: I am kind to strangers.”
Be kind to your friends who are entrepreneurs. Many small businesses need the support of family and friends to keep their doors open. You can buy their products, share their products on social media, let your network know about what they are doing. Affirmation: “I support local businesses.”
Be kind by giving away something everyday. You may have stuff that no longer serve a purpose in your life but it can mean the world to someone else. It can be a book, flowers, money… you will be surprised at how amazing you will feel… and how much more will come back into your life. Affirmation: “I feel wonderful sharing my time and wealth with others.”
Be kind by genuinely listening to others. Genuinely ask others how they are doing and listen to what they have to say without completing their sentences or making them feel that they need to hurry up their stories. Chose a time to talk, when you don’t feel rushed – this will help you to feel more at ease. Affirmation: “I genuinely listen to others.”
Saint Lucia, my homeland, is a gem! A truly beautiful island with majestic hills and valleys, beautiful beaches and amazing hospitality.
We have joined with some of our partners on the island to provide you with the best price available for accommodation and activities – to be away from your routine for 7 days stress free. Our Gems Comfort package includes transfer from the airport to your hotel and back to the hotel for departure.
You get to choose your accommodation from three of our amazing places:
Gems Villa Isis, Gems Rex Resort and Piton Vacation Villas!
Immerse yourself in local culture and heritage. Come along and have fun, relax and be inspired!
Today, my blog has reached 15,000 views over 89 countries. To each of my readers, I want to say “Thank You” for your love, support and encouragement. To those of you who have taken time off to write and comment on articles, know that each of your comments were read and appreciated. Blogging has been therapeutic for me although in my newest adventure with http://www.gemsofsaintlucia.com. I have not been able to write much – but do look out for some exciting stuff soon!
Gems has an offer going on now, which I want to share with all my viewers because this may very well be your opportunity to visit our beautiful island of Saint Lucia and stay for 3 complimentary nights in lovely Villa Isis, which is located in of my very favourite spot in Saint Lucia – Marigot Bay! This is an opportunity for you, in whatever part of the world you are, to support our promotional drive for this amazing site.
Every once in a while, we have an urge to get away from our usual surroundings to an environment which will allow us to do the same things but with an added touch of comfort, simplicity or charm. If it is your desire to get away, Villa Isis, located inone of Saint Lucia’s most touristic spots, may be your answer to experiencing a home away from home.
The Directors at Gems of Saint Lucia are excited to welcome Villa Isis as its first “Gems Comfort” since its launch in Ottawa, Canada, on April 24, 2014. Villa Isis fits the definition of a “Gem” as a result of it being owned by a St. Lucian national. In addition, Villa Isis brings diversification to the “Gems” products which have focused on Cultural and Heritage Sites, ground transportation provided by Southern Taxi Association and hospitality at the Rex St. Lucian. The membership deal is for one year.
Gems of Saint Lucia is offering our friends and friends of Gems a great opportunity to experience Vila Isis for three complimentary nights.
simple..fun…exciting…for US$10.00 only, you stand a chance of winning 3 complimentary room nights at Villa Isis…you will be contributing to the success of an entrepreneur who has the passion for hospitality. Click in this link to purchase your chance to WIN: http://www.gemsofsaintlucia.com/#!destinations/cjg9
Succinctly nestled within the hilltop of Marigot Bay on ½ an acre of prime land, the paranomic scenes are awe-inspiring and breath-taking, with lush greenery and tropical fruit trees all around. With spacious surroundings and rooms, a Jacuzzi in the master suite, cable TV and internet access, Villa Isis is an ideal vacation spot for a single person or a family or the professional who wants to get away for a few days.
For the traveler who is mindful of a healthy lifestyle, ‘Villa Isis’ continues to accommodate your every wish by providing a complete gym, equipped with the latest technology in cardio. Did someone say swimming? Yes! Get your hair wet, wade or plunge into the diamond shaped 16 X 10 foot pool.
TuneIn and StepUp to taking a chance on winning your three night complimentary visit.