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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Loving Your Body

The following post is from Love, Zsara:
How often do you glance at your reflection and stop and take a moment to be thankful for what you have?  I’ve found that it’s so easy and so common to glance and think ‘God, I hate my thighs’ or even just not to glance at all – since within that reflection are flaws which we’d rather not come face-to-face with, just yet, thank you very much!
The more I thought about it the more I realised that our bodies have to deal with a lot of crap from us humans and didn’t really receive much thanks in return!  We, as humans: dye our hair, plaster our faces with make up, smoke, eat unhealthily, don’t drink enough water, wear pretty shoes which don’t fit properly, drink alcohol,  go to bed late and drag ourselves out of bed in the morning when the alarm goes despite our body screaming that it needs more sleep! 
Our spirit – our personality is nurtured from a young age; we read novels and listen to music, we have long conversations with old friends and go to school.  We learn about historical events and trigonometry; we don’t just expect to ‘be’ an intelligent, kind and sensitive human being: we put effort into it. 
I think we, as a society have lost the connection between our spirit and our bodies; we choose to see our bodies as shells – shells which should look exactly like the latest trends dictate to us. Sometimes I think it’s much easier to see our bodies as we do our cars – they get us from a to b and we only pay them attention when something goes wrong.  Our personalities, our spirits, however, we pride ourselves on being individualistic and quirky; the dusting of freckles on your face, however, isn’t individualistic; it’s something which should be covered up with makeup. 
When I say that we should be putting ‘effort’ into having a relationship with our body I don’t mean spending hours sculpting it into the ‘right’ shape by plastic surgery (hello butt implants!) or the daily hours down at the gym.  I mean having respect for it – don’t expect it to be perfect if you’re unwilling to spend some quality time with it!  Eating the right foods, staying hydrated, exercising regularly (but not to excess!), seeing your body as an extension of yourself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When You Love Somebody...

From the lovely Vic at Freckles and Fudge:

You give them your all. Your whole heart and soul. You give them things you never thought you could give. Appreciation, encouragement, love, wishes, prayers, an ear, a hand, a shoulder, a kidney. When you love someone, you don't stop to think what ifs. You just give. Today I cannot give a special person in my life a hug for her birthday and that makes me cry. It makes me sad. It eats me away sometimes that we have no family here. And unless you've experienced being many moons away, you have no idea how lucky you are to have the friends and family that you so desperately need in your life.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Power of Love Songs

A beautiful post written by Enrico Gala:
The Power of LOVE Songs, no matter how human and, therefore, imperfect and with limited scopes, can’t help but bear traces of divine love. It’s amazing that with some simple tunes and lyrics, they can make us fly to infinity, to eternity. This is simply because these love songs have GOD as their ultimate inspiration. GOD is LOVE, and anything related to love in our life somehow begins and ends with GOD. This is true even if we are not aware of this reality. These songs can be very dramatic. and we can easily excuse them when they exaggerated a little, or even a lot. They exercise tremendous power over us, generating a manifold of impulse that are all meaningful and satisfying to us.. 
Singing or humming them, or simply playing them in our mind or in our heart without sound, can evoke peace, joy, thrill, suspense, longing, hope, memories, tears, a smile , a reconciliation, reflections, an embrace, a kiss, etc.. etc.. This is the power of LOVE SONGS
With their melody, they easily arouse our senses, activate our emotions and passions. With their words and messages, they can crackle to life and intense activity our intelligence and heart. Before we know it, we become aware there’s something burning within us. We are brought to different worlds, go through the past, the present, and the future, made to consider various situations and precious lessons. If we are lucky, they can even lead us to GOD— as they should, in the end. 
There was one song that caught my attention immediately the melody struck me first, but it was the lyrics that hooked me to sing it. It goes like this “If it takes forever/ I will wait for you./ For a thousand summers / I will wait you.” That may sound corny to some, but to my innocent ears then, it gave me tremendous lessons. LOVE knows how to WAIT! The realization came with the wonder and surprise of a dicovery. Imagine the thrill….. Anybody knows or hear the songs entitled ” A THOUSAND YEARS.” 
The same idea is dramatized in a modern and secular way. Again the music first got me intrigued. It has a different and haunting beat. But the words are just marvelous. As people say, they are to die for. It goes: Like a Star @ heaven “A thousand years/ a thousand more/ a thousand times a million doors to eternity.” I find these words graphic enough of what is to WAIT. 
When one is INLOVE the distinction between a moment and an eternity dissolves. The idea is reiterated in finer nuances, making you flow in a beautiful stream of consciousmess. ” If it takes another thousand years/ a thousand wars/.. I could shed another million tears/ a million breaths/ ….A million suns/ ten million years of uncertainty…” All of these because, ” If there was a single truth/ a single light/ a single thought/ a singular touch of GRACE,” the truth is ” I’ve kept this single faith/ I have but one belief/ I STILL LOVE YOU/ I STILL WANT YOU.”
The song ends very powerfully: A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves/ like galaxies in my head/ On and on the mysteries unwind themselves/ eternities still unsaid ‘TILL YOU LOVE ME.


I realize that GOD, whos is love and who loves us first before we know how to loves, precisely WAITS for us in TIME and in ETERNITY, willing to suffer whatever, if only we learn to love the way he loves us…….

A thousand years, a thousand more, 
A thousand times a million doors to eternity 
I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times
An endless turning stairway climbs 
To a tower of souls 
If it takes another thousand years, a thousand wars, 
The towers rise to numberless floors in space
I could she'd another million tears, a million breaths,
A million names but only one truth to face

A million roads, a million fears
A million suns, ten million years of uncertainty 
I could speak a million lies, a million songs,
A million rights, a million wrongs in this balance of time
But if there was a single truth, a single light
A single thought, a singular touch of grace
Then following this single point , this single flame,
The single haunted memory of your face 

I still love you 
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves 
Like galaxies in my head

I may be numberless, I may be innocent 
I may know many things, I may be ignorant 
Or I could ride with kings and conquer many lands
Or win this world at cards and let it slip my hands 
I could be cannon food, destroyed a thousand times 
Reborn as fortune's child to judge another's crimes 
Or wear this pilgrim's cloak, or be a common thief 
I've kept this single faith, I have but one belief

I still love you 
I still want you
A thousand times the mysteries unfold themselves 
Like galaxies in my head
On and on the mysteries unwind themselves 
Eternities still unsaid 
'Til you love me

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love in the gLovebox ~ an ongoing story

The following was written by my friend Heatherlyn. It is the most wonderful idea and I hope you think so too!

Magnets. Whether you've passed the time with one of those desk top "toys" or as a kid learned about the positive and negative sides of magnets, you've likely stacked magnets, felt the force of them sticking to or repelling each other.

Sometimes I feel like a magnet. When I encounter others, sometimes the sides of us facing each other make it super easy and even fun to connect. Sometimes, the sides of myself and another facing each other - even though we are essentially made of the same substance - cause us to experience a repelling. We feel awkward or weird.

One of those moments for me has been at traffic light intersections. You know the scene: a red light, you stop and there's a tired-looking person standing at the corner with a cardboard sign. My head spins in moments like these. I feel like I want to respond but I don't know how. I want to look since there's a human being standing there, reaching out. They may be reaching out in a really socially unacceptable way, but they are reaching out - so I want to look their way, but I avoid eye contact. I don't have loose change. I'm not sure that would help anyway. I don't know this person and I don't want to judge, but I'm not sure I want to entrust them with a gift of cash. All these thoughts and feelings surface and finally, (deep breath) the light changes to green. I can go on my way, perhaps say a prayer for the person standing there. But I resign myself to feeling that there's nothing I can do, and in a few minutes, I'll be on to my next task and it won't be hard for me to forget.

My husband and I have a group of friends who asked the question: "What if we were ready for these unexpected encounters at the intersection?" So we have gathered together with packages of warm socks, boxes of granola cars, hats, even hand warmers and meal dollars for a particular food venue. We put all this on a table and take one of each to put in a big zip lock bag, assembling what we call "Love in the gLovebox bundles".

Last week, Jason, my husband, and I had a meeting in downtown Saint Paul. There was a gentleman standing at the intersection of 35 E and Grand Ave. He held a cardboard sign indicating he was a veteran and in need. I handed Jason one of the gLOVEbox bundles we had prepared in community just a couple weeks earlier. He rolled down his window, passed it to the gentlemen on the corner and simply said, “Peace, Man.” It was remarkable at how ready he was to receive when he had no idea what Jason was handing him. I looked back and he was smiling and turning the bag over and over, seeing what little precious gifts were just given him. I pray he is safe, warm, loved and loving always. I don't know how that small gift impacted him, but I know it changed me. To be able to not pass him by. To be able to look at him unafraid. To connect with this human being and not experience that repelling impression - if even for a moment - was so powerful. It is changing my heart and my eyes.

This weekend (Nov 21st), in Duluth I shared a bit of this story with a set
of songs, such as Wayfaring Stranger (the spiritual), Invitation to the Unlikely and Be the Love(Click on the song titles to view the youtube videos.) Afterward, a gentlemen approach Jason and myself with tears welling up in his eyes and he thanked us. He said, "I'm someone who has been there at the street corner; want to know how that man was impacted? showed him care in an uncaring world. You showed him dignity. Thank you for doing that." He apologized for hardly being able to keep it together. He was so deeply moved. We thanked him for sharing.

There are so many small ways we can intentionally live kindness, to be compassion, to be love. Even if we don't share all of life with another, we do share our humanity and we share the earth we live upon. Love in the gLovebox is just one simple way our group of friends has discovered helps us turn a little so the side facing another is the magnetic connection side. Maybe when the most unlikely pairs can stick together, maybe then we can build strong and genuine communities.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Hugs

I love stories of how a single person can make a difference or start a movement. Take the Free Hugs Campaign for example.

Sometimes, a hug is all what we need.

Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.

In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

The free hugs movement has now spread around the world.

I absolutely love this video:

Touch (or more specifically 'good touch') is such an important thing for humans and in the often cyber world that we sometimes live in, let us never forget this. Studies have demonstrated over and over again the importance that human contact plays in our general well-being and health as well. The most alarming example was the study of Romanian orphans who died simply from a lack of being held and touched. 

I've always been a 'hugger' and I love giving and getting hugs. When you hug someone, it brings you in direct contact with them. It forms a connection. We all know that when a friend is hurting, sometimes a hug is better than all the words we can give them. A hug says 'I'm there' or 'You are supported', which is usually all we need in a time of sorrow. 

What the free hugs movement says to me is that as humans, we all need to be there for each other. When you really think about it we are all related. We are all one. It says we are willing to take down the artificial barriers that we have put up and to love one another. 

No matter what your religion, LOVE is the most important thing that shows God living in us.

One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 John 4: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

The free hug movement demonstrates loving our neighbor - with no strings attached. It doesn't say... wait but let me first convince you of my particular beliefs or I'll love you if you dress this particular way or follow this particular creed. It doesn't say "But you need to say I'm sorry first" or "But you've hurt me so badly". It just says 'love is here: you can have it if you want it'.

 A Whole Lotta Hugs,

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Perfect Love

From the James Allen Library:

The Children of Light, who abide in the Kingdom of Heaven, see the universe, and all that it contains, as the manifestation of one Law - the Law of Love. They see Love as the molding, sustaining, protecting, and perfecting Power immanent in all things animate and inanimate. To them Love is not merely and only a rule of life, it is the Law of Life, it is Life itself. 

Knowing this, they order their whole life in accordance with Love, not regarding their own personality. By thus practicing obedience to the Highest, to divine Love, they become conscious partakers of the power of Love, and so arrive at perfect Freedom as Masters of Destiny.

The universe is preserved because Love is at the Heart of it. Love is the only preservative power. Whilst there is hatred in the heart of man, he imagines the Law to be cruel, but when his heart is mellowed by Compassion and Love, he perceives that the Law is Infinite Kindness. 

So kind is the Law that it protects man against his own ignorance, Man, in his puny efforts to subvert the Law by attaching undue importance to his own little personality, brings upon himself such trains of suffering that he is at last compelled, in the depth of his afflictions, to seek for Wisdom; and finding Wisdom, he finds Love, and knows it as the Law of his being, the Law of the universe. 

Love does not punish; man punishes himself by his own hatred; by striving to preserve evil which has no life by which to preserve itself, and by trying to subvert Love, which can neither be overcome nor destroyed, being of the substance of Life. When a man burns himself, does he accuse the fire? Therefore, when a man suffers, let him look for some ignorance or disobedience within himself.

Love is Perfect Harmony, pure Bliss, and contains, therefore, no element of suffering. Let a man think no thought and do no act which is not in accordance with pure Love, and suffering shall no more trouble him. If a man would know Love, and partake of its undying bliss, he must practice it in his heart; he must become Love.

He who always acts from the spirit of Love is never deserted, is never left in a dilemma or difficulty, for Love (impersonal Love) is both Knowledge and Power. He who has learned how to Love has learned how to master every difficulty, how to transmute every failure into success, how to clothe every event and condition in garments of blessedness and beauty.

The way to Love is by self-mastery, and, traveling that way, a man builds himself up in Knowledge as he proceeds. Arriving at Love, he enters into full possession of body and mind, by right of the divine Power which he has earned.

"Perfect Love casteth out fear." To know Love is to know that there is no harmful power in the whole Universe. Even sin itself, which the worldly and unbelieving imagine is so unconquerable, is known as a very weak and perishable thing, that shrinks away and disappears before the compelling power of Good. Perfect Love is perfect Harmlessness. And he who has destroyed, in himself, all thoughts of harm, and all desire to harm, receives the universal protection, and knows himself to be invincible.

Perfect Love is perfect Patience. Anger and irritability cannot dwell with it nor come near it. It sweetens every bitter occasion with the perfume of holiness, and transmutes trial into divine strength. Complaint is foreign to it. He who loves bewails nothing, but accepts all things and conditions as heavenly guests; he is therefore constantly blessed, and sorrow does not overtake him.

Perfect Love is perfect Trust. He who has destroyed the desire to grasp can never be troubled with the fear of loss. Loss and gain are alike foreign to him. Steadfastly maintaining a loving attitude of mind toward all, and pursuing, in the performance of his duties, a constant and loving activity, Love protects him and evermore supplies him in fullest measure with all that he needs.

Perfect Love is perfect Power. The wisely loving heart commands without exercising any authority. All things and all men obey him who obeys the Highest. He thinks, and lo! he has already accomplished! He speaks, and behold! a world hangs upon his simple utterances! He has harmonized his thoughts with the Imperishable and Unconquerable Forces, and for him weakness and uncertainty are no more. His every thought is a purpose; his every act an accomplishment; he moves with the Great Law, not setting his puny personal will against it, and he thus becomes a channel through which the Divine Power can flow in unimpeded and beneficent expression. He has thus become Power itself.

Perfect Love is perfect Wisdom. The man who loves all is the man who knows all. Having thoroughly learned the lessons of his own heart, he knows the tasks and trials of other hearts, and adapts himself to them gently and without ostentation. Love illuminates the intellect; without it the intellect is blind and cold and lifeless. Love succeeds where the intellect fails; sees where the intellect is blind; knows where the intellect is ignorant, Reason is only completed in Love, and is ultimately absorbed in it. Love is the Supreme Reality in the universe, and as such it contains all Truth. Infinite Tenderness enfolds and cherishes the universe; therefore is the wise man gentle and childlike and tender-hearted. He sees that the one thing which all creatures need is Love, and he gives unstintingly. He knows that all occasions require the adjusting power of Love, and he ceases from harshness.

To the eye of Love all things are revealed, not as an infinity of complex effects, but in the light of Eternal Principles, out of which spring all causes and effects, and back into which they return. "God is Love;" therefore than Love there is nothing more perfect. He who would find pure Knowledge let him find pure Love.

Perfect Love is perfect Peace. He who dwells with it has completed his pilgrimage in the underworld of sorrow. With mind calm and heart at rest, he has banished the shadows of grief, and knows the deathless Life.

If thou wouldst perfect thyself in Knowledge, perfect thyself in Love. If thou wouldst reach the Highest, ceaselessly cultivate a loving and compassionate heart.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Astounding Stories of Love and Creativity

Love can fuel creativity for so many reasons, creativity may appear because of wanting to impress someone or simply because you want to express the emotions running through your life. When in love and all the things around you can be a source of inspiration, from the food you eat to the things you rarely notice, clearly a new sense of awareness will appear that will help you achieve the best you want. Through the course of history many artists have created great artworks because of love.

Image by: Billy Alexander


We are talking about romantic and familial love.
  • Heightened sense of awareness, makes you feel active and you always want to do something for the world to see.
  • The sense of wanting to inspire others too, the feeling that everything will be just fine.
  • You feel awesome, and when you feel awesome you do awesome things!
  • Love alters our thoughts
Do an experiment, when you feel bad or any negative thoughts cloud your thinking try wrapping a gift with fancy gift wrappers. Can you? But when you’re in love, in a very good mood, your thought process is so diverse that instead of using a cheap wrapper you may even create your own wrapper just to make people feel loved.
In Japan, during Valentine’s Day, women give chocolates to men who they adore. But it’s not the type of chocolate we gentlemen give to them. What Japanese women usually do is cook and design their own chocolates, trying to make it look best for their man. Isn’t that sweet?
Of course you shouldn’t just believe in everything people say, many get their heart broken for believing in everything that is said. Below are examples of how love gave birth to the most creative things we now see today. If you know things like these please feel free to comment and I’ll add them on our list!


For those who do not know, Taj Mahal is a tomb for Shah Jahan‘s wife. It took around 23 years to finish this marvelous construction, now famous all over the globe. It is said that Shah Jahan hid himself from the public because of his grief.
Incidentally, the Filipino term for Love is Mahal.
Image by: Vivek Chugh


Believe it or not love at first sight indeed works, it will turn every nook and cranny of not only your home but of an entire metropolis just to find that woman in the train station. I’m talking about a man who creatively asked the whole of New York to help him find the woman of his dreams whose name and phone number he was not able to get. How many millions of people are there in New York? Through creative and flashy thinking he asked millions through his website. It didn’t took long for someone to find the woman of his dreams, and they dated.
When I was in college I attended a conference about how to properly dress for a company interview for fresh graduates. There were two guest speakers and one of them was this pretty lady whose topic is about how to impress. She began her talk by asking “do you believe in love at first sight?” an acquaintance of mine wittily shouted from the back rows “just now!” and the guest speaker blushed. Just sharing. *laughs*


If you know someone named Romeo chances are you have already asked him “where’s Juliet?”. Romeo and Juliet, the most famous love story which has been repeated throughout various theaters, never fails to make us realize how love can boost our powers or can make us off-guard.
On Shakespeare’s sonnets, it doesn’t really matter if you do or do not understand them in one sitting, what matters is you can’t write one if you’re not in an extremely good mood: in love.
Image by: Ralu Home


“Sam was a boy who loved and played for 14 years in Richmond, Vermont. SamStones are made with love by Sam’s friends and family. Our intent with these stones is to pass on some of that love. If you have found a SamStone please feel free to keep it, move it or pass it on. We hope that you will pause and feel the love that is being passed on to you.”
Passing love to people through stones is something I will surely do. That’s why I have 9, one already placed on a perfect spot . Got them at Spread SamLove through SamStones!
Another thing that you can benefit from love is that you actually can see things in a different manner, you will have a different reality. People who are in love can fearlessly express themselves, and that entails expressing it in every media possible.
It is easy to notice when people are in love (or those who feel loved) based on the way they speak, walk, move, and changes in their crafts too. If you are one of the fortunate people who have been, and are still, in love, don’t you notice how bright things are? Suddenly you see things in a brighter way, like there’s a flashlight/torch on your eyes and everything you look at becomes vivid. In relation to designing, designers who know this feeling are usually the ones who make people spell wow on their faces, these are the designers who craft super cool arts that even the audience can feel the emotions involved in the creation of the art.