Posted in Updates

Through Time, The Truth of Unconditional Love

My grandmother, a spry seventy-nine year old was telling us a joke she had hear at her fitness club. It goes like this, yes, I know that I can’t tell a joke to save my life, and it is made even more difficult when you have to type it off, but bear with me.

A woman says to the man she has been married to for fifty years, both of them already lying down one night, “When we were young, you used to hold my hand every night,” slowly and a little troubled, he stretches out his hand until he finds hers.

“And when we were young,” she continues, “you used to squeeze in bed next to me.” A little more slowly, her husband’s body creaks and turns over until it sits next to hers.

“And when we were young, you used to nibble my ear,” she adds. Suddenly, the man jumps out of bed pushing away the blankets…

“Where are you going?” she asks, her voice full of surprise. “Let me get my dentures,” the husband replied.

I found it sweet, yet blatant ageism, and to a degree creepy, but it highlights how we have changed as a society. When the joke was first told, it was by somebody much younger than my grandma, and they thought of themselves as old. She does not, in fact she sees herself as young and fit. Which, she most certainly is, both physically and mentally.

Surely, I already bored you but the thing is, I don’t want to keep this to myself. Humor can make us think about transformation, evolution, and growth. The human spirit, requires a good dose of perseverance towards maturity to reach its destination. But when you arrive you realize that you are still in transit.

This truth, that we can all find present in our lives at some point, is triggered by a parallel truth in my reasoning. Growth comes through true and mature love, it requires a great deal of perseverance and patience too… But not just any kind of perseverance, the kind which requires us to love that which we decided to love years ago.

Think about it like this… The word “Eros” means love. A word that keeps us loving, not only the sweetheart of our youth through the years, but also our friends and family despite their imperfections.

I am flooded with great peace, knowing that my husband’s love is precisely like that. How grateful I am that he is committed to loving me, now, and through the ages. Despite all my mistakes, which we all have for sure, and which have added up over time.

Today’s post was a little on the short side, I know, and it may not appeal much to those who are not married, but I hope it has at least some application in your life, regardless of your marital “status”.

I challenge you to continue loving those you have chosen to love and who in return have chose to love you. The people, despite their little imperfections have shared the happiness and the hardships on your side.

That is unconditional love!

Zoey

Posted in Updates

In Essence, Harmony

Ayurveda is a Lifestyle more than anything else. Ayurveda, the science of life, prevention and longevity is categorized as an alternative system of medicine but it is more than that. It has its historical roots in the Indian subcontinent.

The word Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit word – Ayur: which means life and Veda: wisdom, knowledge – so its literal meaning can be “knowledge or science of life.” The teachings are based on Hinduism and therefore spirituality is an important part of the belief system. But like yoga, you can practice it without believing in all of the underlying philosophy. In fact, Ayurveda has great practical value, with wonderful recommendations in both prevention and healing that compliment our western medicine.

The basic principle in Ayurveda is that the universe is composed of five elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether

This is a common theme throughout the natural religions. Just as everything we find in the universe is made up of these five elements, health depends on their balance, both within ourselves and in nature.

Ayurveda consists of preventive and curative therapies as well as different methods of purification and rejuvenation, which produce longevity, using natural resources from our environment. This isn’t so far off base from other types of relaxation that we already know. Who among us hasn’t sat down with a hot mug of herbal tee?

Just the act of general care and maintaining our bodies offers healthy benefits which translates as “lifestyle in accordance with one’s own nature”. That quote is important because at the heart that is what Ayurveda is all about. You see, a lifestyle according to one’s own bodily characteristics provides vitality without imposing expectation on the person that would otherwise be, too much. Not everybody should or can run a marathon. It involves knowing our limitations and applying that knowledge to a selection of appropriate nutrition, habits and physical and mental exercise that compensate for imbalances in body and mind; thus keeping us healthier. How many of you have heard from your doctor that you need to loose weight and exercise?

The lifestyle contains some basic principles among them are:

  • Everything in the universe, whether it possesses a soul or not, is connected.
  • Every human being is composed of elements found in the universe.
  • Every human being is born in complete harmony and balance with the universe and himself.
  • This balance is disturbed throughout life. The causes can be physical, mental or emotional or a combination of these. Imbalance weakens the body and makes the organism prone to disease.
  • When human relationships in the closest circle are effective and beneficial, health is improved.
  • Diseases appear when we are not in harmony.

Therefore to “live in Ayurveda” is to live in harmony, it is to live according to our own nature, to the basic elements that compose us. Of course you don’t need to believe in any of this to see that some of what is said is a core component in living a happy healthy life. Find a balance that works for you.

Zoey

* As you have already read, I don’t believe that this is an all cure. Some magic-thinking that claims that it is the cure for everything. It isn’t. And it isn’t a replacement for actual medicine, some treat it like one but that is their prerogative, this isn’t an argument for that. With that said, it can provide some benefits when treat reasonably, just like yoga has health benefits. I see it as a means to progress without trying to fit into somebody else’s mold. To re-state what I have already said: “…a lifestyle according to one’s own bodily characteristics… .”

Posted in Uncategorized

Simple but Effective

Do you feeling like everything is just too much too handle? I know what you mean. Somebody is drying you crazy at work, you husband isn’t lifting a finger in the household when you get home (not you sweetheart, a coworker’s husband) and so on and so forth. There are some simple natural remedies to “live in harmony” and they are easy to implement into our daily lives.

Throughout history, humans have used natural remedies in traditional medicine, seeking alternatives for well-being. In these ancestral philosophies, the holistic and integral vision is the fundamental basis of the positive outcome of practice. The body, mind and spirit are seen as a whole, indivisible and integrally related. What affects one of the parts affects the whole. Yet, such simple actions such as smiling, breathing and drinking tee are used as basic self-help remedies, which are quick and efficient, producing immediate and lasting results throughout the day.

Smiling Often

The physical movement of the smile eliminates contractions in many facial muscles, none as important as the masseter muscles, located at the junction of the jaws. When you feel your face tightening you can smile and lift the tension. This action alone relaxes these muscle and eliminates tension and facilitates the production of endorphins and serotonin, which improve your emotional state.

At first it may be necessary to smile in a state of awareness, feeling the movement spread across your face. It might feel like you are performing the action, maybe even like you are putting on a fake smile. WHile even the best actors need to learn there roles in a play, smiling will come naturally at some point.

With practice you can continue to familiarize yourself with the movements need to express a smile. Then, little by little, we will internalize the exercise and at the end we will smile with our whole being, mind-body-spirit, one that is a smile of kindness and love, sustained during the day and night … what more could we wish for?

Controlled Breathing

Today’s society programs us in a negative way. It starts early, and little by little, from childhood, we stop breathing naturally and efficiently. We are taught to breathe only at the thoracic level (shallow), and when it is continued, this action produces altered states of mind, excessively heats the organism and decreases gas exchange in the lungs, resulting in less oxygenated and toxin-filled blood, which the is returned to the bloodstream. But instead of nourishing the organs and tissues, it only provides us with a small portion of what we need, leaving us at an oxygen deficit, and polluting our system.

Something as basic as relearning to breathe, an action we perform more than 30,000 times a day, can be very difficult to relearn.

To stay healthy it is imperative to remember our natural way of breathing, an action that quiets the mind, oxygenates the body and predisposes us to tranquility.

By increasing the level of oxygen in the brain, many clouds of everyday life will quickly dissipated, allowing a more detailed and simple analysis of the situations of our daily lives, which results in the acceptance of our present, without fear or resentment. We eliminate states of anxiety and stress and make us more peaceful and tolerant of others and ourselves.

Breathing calms the mind. But it often doesn’t have the same effect at work. For that choose a place outside the workplace. Take leave the office if you can for a while, take a breath, raise your arms as if touching the sky, slowly lower them, close your eyes and take three deep breaths and then enjoy a healthy drink.

Drink a Good Cup of Herbal Tea

During the afternoon, at my workplace, I take the time to savor a cup of tranquilizing mint tea, or chamomile. If you need to wake up you could try one with cinnamon (very strong), sweetened with honey. For a cold and cloudy morning a blend of ginger with lemon and honey is perfect.

Nothing can be more relaxing than a cup of tea, but make sure that you are doing so in the right environment. If you’re going to take a break at work, do it. But make sure that is a true break of at least 15 minutes, of tranquility, relaxation, allowing you to recharge your physical and emotional state of being.

These are just a couple of techniques I use frequently. Though healthy breathing is one that I try to do all the time it doesn’t work well when I am feeling stressed. For that I need to take the breather.

Hopefully you have read something that will get you searching in the right direction for calm and inner peace.

Posted in Updates

A Wrap Up of the Last Week

Not everyday do you get to look into a child’s eyes and see the joy and excitement when you present them with their gifts. It has been a great week everyone. Zachery just turned five and is so proud of how grown up he now is. As for his parents we’re just so thankful that we were able to have a celebration with our family. The last couple of years have been hard when it comes to celebrations, not everyone can come or wants to attend, but, knock on wood, everything seems to be going back to normal.

So, birthdays! I love them, my husband loves them (he got a set of LEGOs for his last birthday, and let’s just say he went wild*), and our son has just begun to grasp how fun they can be. Last year he just knew that he got to play more than usual and that he got toys, some socks, a terribly ugly pajama from his Aunt (as a gag gift), and he got to eat cake and ice cream (two of his favorite foods, after broccoli, strange I know).

Kiddo’s Birthday Party

As I have already mention we had a pretty big celebration this year. Last year for his birthday we only really had my parents, and my mother-in-law flew in for couple of days to visit her sister who lives in the area. My father-in-law wasn’t able to come because his company was short handed due some people falling out due to the VID. This year my husband wanted to host a BBQ Birthday, which in other words was his chance to fire up the grill one last time this year and pretend he was in one of those Norman Rockwell paintings. You know, something like this:

Norman Rockwell Painting

But without the dress shirt, belt and slacks, clean shaven, fifties look that resonates throughout Rockwell’s most famous works. My husband has worn kaki shorts, worn t-shirts, and a beard for over a decade now (since June 2010 to be exact). I don’t know if I would recognize him if he ever decided to shave. /s 🙄

In total we had about thirty people at our house this year, both the big sort and the small. Zach had a number of his school friends over and his cousins were also here. Our dog was a little over stimulated with so many little hands wanting to pet her, but she got over it pretty quickly. When everybody went home in the afternoon she and our son fell asleep together on the couch. I really wish I had gotten a picture of it. She woke up when I came in the room and there was really only a split second to catch the whole thing. Now that our son is a big boy, this was his fifth birthday after all, I think it will become more difficult to get him to take a nap. After all, naps are for babies and that he is most certainly not!

He loved the gift opening portion of the celebration, even though we coaxed him to open them slowly he tore through the majority of them. It was sweet when he got to the one from my parents. They had some custom gift wrap printed for the occasion, it was basically a photo montage of our family, their photo, and some moments with his cousins. The had it printed through a small company that specializes in such things, but also in other custom and hard to find themes. I intend to use them in the future. The wrapping paper was so cute, I wish I would have had a chance to save it (my sister cleaned the living room when we all went outside for cake and ice cream). The look on his face was priceless when he recognized who was printed on the paper, I think for a moment he thought that that was the gift. But my dad clarified it for him and he ripped it open, more reserved than the others, but still it came off in shreds.

The next morning Zach asked when his next birthday would be. Apparently he thought that it should be coming up again soon. My husband told him he would have to wait another 364 days, 52 weeks, or 12 months. Right now he thinks that that will be around Christmas since he knows he’ll get some presents then as well.

It is really a blessing to be able to watch him grow and make new experiences. When they are small it really seems like they are sometimes changing right before your eyes.

Thanks for coming everyone!

Zoey

* As it turns out my husband was a huge fan of LEGO blocks growing up. Every year his grand parents would buy him a big set for Christmas and it just comes with a lot of nostalgia for my darling husband. Since he got his first (new set) some months ago he has bought another half dozen for himself and he and our son have been putting them together as “father son bonding”. I guess I can’t complain, it has been fun watching them work together on increasingly larger projects. One drawback to the LEGO project has been that they take up quite a lot of room once completed. Our living room feels like a gallery with the shelves and floor, though goggy has left them alone thus far.
Posted in Uncategorized

All I Want…

Look closely at the flow of the first verse of this poem that Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr. not his son who was a jurist and legal scholar appointed to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by Theodore Roosevelt) writes:

There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother That boarding-school flavor of which we’re afraid, There is “lush” is a good one, and “swirl” is another,– Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.

Now look at his second stanza:

With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes You can cheat us of smiles when you’ve nothing to tell You hand us a nosegay of milliner’s roses, And we cry with delight, “Oh, how sweet they do smell!”

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a physician, poet, and polymath, from Boston who had a long career in different fields. I would also say that he is a musician due to the way his verses flow.

This poem is musically aligned, in my humble opinion, a piece of modern art… the pictures it summons to my mind are not “far-fetched”, but you have to see that they have been very intelligently combined. The simplicity of the first verse setting the tone in the very beginning, if you every played the violin, you could hear them ensemble in the background, the voice that accompanies Holmes intermittently, as he “glides” and “plays a bit of orneriness in to close it with good mix of humor, the unfinished end, something that to my mind make it exceptionally exquisite.

What I want to tell you is that the poem “A Familiar Letter” plays and sounds in my mind, for day after I have read it, and honestly I can’t find a way to get rid of it.

To be very honest, although it impresses me, I think what has captivated me so much throughout the years is that it resonates with me. I went to boarding school when I was fourteen. But it is also timeless because it tells a story of separation and reunion.

I think the poem says in simple words what in recent months has become most important to many of us, a common desire in life, as such: I have come to the conclusion that all I want in my life, is to be able to find something true, genuine, authentic, a sincere and not false life, not one that is duried behind a facade.

The second stanza strikes me even more than the first due to the happy honesty.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste any more time on things that aren’t worth it (in the long run), on vain things (that satisfy the here and now). As Holmes puts it: “…cheat us of smiles…” No. On the contrary, if only I could apply his word to my way of thinking about my daily life, for example: being in my office, talking to other people… driving through the traffic, queuing in line at the supermarket, sleeping, watching TV, surfing the web, talking on the phone… Wow!…What a difference it would make! Don’t you think?

For me, this day, the only desire that competes with this is that you also adopt it into your life.

As the poem goes, it is not easy, but there it is, I leave it up to you.

Zoey

For those of you who would like to read the full poem:

A Familiar Letter

by Oliver Wendell Holmes
YES, write, if you want to, there’s nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold? I’ll show you that rhyming’s as easy as lying, If you’ll listen to me while the art I unfold.

Here’s a book full of words; one can choose as he fancies, As a painter his tint, as a workman his tool; Just think! all the poems and plays and romances Were drawn out of this, like the fish from a pool!

You can wander at will through its syllabled mazes, And take all you want, not a copper they cost,– What is there to hinder your picking out phrases For an epic as clever as “Paradise Lost”?

Don’t mind if the index of sense is at zero, Use words that run smoothly, whatever they mean; Leander and Lilian and Lillibullero Are much the same thing in the rhyming machine.

There are words so delicious their sweetness will smother That boarding-school flavor of which we’re afraid, There is “lush”is a good one, and “swirl” is another,– Put both in one stanza, its fortune is made.

With musical murmurs and rhythmical closes You can cheat us of smiles when you’ve nothing to tell You hand us a nosegay of milliner’s roses, And we cry with delight, “Oh, how sweet they do smell!”

Perhaps you will answer all needful conditions For winning the laurels to which you aspire, By docking the tails of the two prepositions I’ the style o’ the bards you so greatly admire.

As for subjects of verse, they are only too plenty For ringing the changes on metrical chimes; A maiden, a moonbeam, a lover of twenty Have filled that great basket with bushels of rhymes.

Let me show you a picture–‘t is far from irrelevant– By a famous old hand in the arts of design; ‘T is only a photographed sketch of an elephant,– The name of the draughtsman was Rembrandt of Rhine.

How easy! no troublesome colors to lay on, It can’t have fatigued him,– no, not in the least,– A dash here and there with a haphazard crayon, And there stands the wrinkled-skinned, baggy-limbed beast.

Just so with your verse,– ‘t is as easy as sketching,– You can reel off a song without knitting your brow, As lightly as Rembrandt a drawing or etching; It is nothing at all, if you only know how.

Well; imagine you’ve printed your volume of verses: Your forehead is wreathed with the garland of fame, Your poems the eloquent school-boy rehearses, Her album the school-girl presents for your name;

Each morning the post brings you autograph letters; You’ll answer them promptly,– an hour isn’t much For the honor of sharing a page with your betters, With magistrates, members of Congress, and such.

Of course you’re delighted to serve the committees That come with requests from the country all round, You would grace the occasion with poems and ditties When they’ve got a new schoolhouse, or poorhouse, or pound.

With a hymn for the saints and a song for the sinners, You go and are welcome wherever you please; You’re a privileged guest at all manner of dinners, You’ve a seat on the platform among the grandees.

At length your mere presence becomes a sensation, Your cup of enjoyment is filled to its brim With the pleasure Horatian of digitmonstration, As the whisper runs round of “That’s he!” or “That’s him!”

But remember, O dealer in phrases sonorous, So daintily chosen, so tunefully matched, Though you soar with the wings of the cherubim o’er us, The ovum was human from which you were hatched.

No will of your own with its puny compulsion Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre; It comes, if at all, like the Sibyl’s convulsion And touches the brain with a finger of fire.

So perhaps, after all, it’s as well to he quiet If you’ve nothing you think is worth saying in prose, As to furnish a meal of their cannibal diet To the critics, by publishing, as you propose.

But it’s all of no use, and I’m sorry I’ve written,– I shall see your thin volume some day on my shelf; For the rhyming tarantula surely has bitten, And music must cure you, so pipe it yourself.
Posted in Conflict

Local Nuisances and the State of the Neighborhood

We’re just going to call him Brad for now. BUT the truth is that he can take on many different names and faces.

Let me set the stage. Here we have this famous individual (famous in his own mind, notorious everywhere else), who has caused us so many problems throughout his friendly career, so many moments of internal and physical conflicts have been caused – that we already have considerable respect for any dealings with him – that he has earned a reputation for his ruthless effectiveness.

To tell you about him, to say something new that you do not know, let alone shocking, is to tell you that you don’t know what it is like to be you. Brad appears when you least expect him, he is hidden, in hiding, some place until suddenly “zap”, like lighting he strikes, presenting himself with evil intent. Brad is a narcissist and can be very hard to avoid him (especially when you have a front facing job and he saunters in), nobody can do anything about him, not always, but most of the time he wins. Getting what he wants. Even if you manage to avoid him he will be back in a totally unexpected and surprising way. But we still allow him to invade our lives because of society’s social expectations of politeness put on us.

Many have suffered from the character assassination and attacks he has dealt out throughout the years. But they were able to overcome it thanks to the support that they got from others who suffered from this bully, but we have to stand together to be able to beat him.

“The bully always wins,” they sometimes say, “when you see him appear run and do not look back.”

Not anymore. Brad, fuck off!

Zoey

Posted in Updates

Hey Everybody – Here I Go Again!

Tonight, I am pleased to announce to all of you, the official start of my personal blog has begun anew (yeah, I know that it was 2015 when I started it). You could actually say that it never really got started but, then I guess it has been up for a while, that is a plus. I tried the other day to get a feel for it again and it was different than I remembered so bare with me, this might take a while before things begin running smoothly.

I had not really started when I first made the site, it was merely there before, because I believe – and I say this without false humility – that I still do not have the maturity or baggage like other people, whose edifying blogs and wise reasoning amaze me day by day. I will try, though, rather humbly, at the insistence of several of you (I’m poiting at you mom)… Thank you for believing that I must at least try.

It will be an effort, believe me, to put into words my appreciation for all of the things that happen to us in this life, as well as share what I hope will be a little common sense.

I am thankful for tools like this blog. I think that “bouncing” my ideas around with all of you is going to be a very pleasant and enriching adventure. Yes, I know that I have started down this path before. But, on one hand I had a lot going on and on the other there really wasn’t anything worthwhile to actually write about. In my advanced years (just kidding), taking the time to look at and comment on the different things happening in my life from time to time could even be therapeutic.

Hopefully the words and I ideas that I share here from this day onwards (promise), contribute even in a small proportion, bring some of us closer.

God bless!

Zoey

Posted in Uncategorized

Life According to Zoey

Hello all! You know who you are. I have had like two visitors so far in something like six years. I’m Zoey and I would like to share my opinions about the world, fashion, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), and life on this blog. I welcome everyone, especially my family, to share their thoughts and stuff in the comments.

This will be my personal diary, though daily isn’t going to be doable. Still I will write how things are going and hope that you really like visiting my blog.

Zoey

Posted in Uncategorized

Living in Harmony

The Oxford Dictionaries describes harmony as “The state of being in agreement or concord”

“It has the potential to become a central feature in the promotion and determination of a more aware, inclusive and active community that lives in harmony with itself and its environment.”

Harmony, or in our case harmoney, could be described as living successfully within your means. Making the most of what you have and learning to not only making the most out of our limited resources, but also excelling with a new understanding and appreciation for frugality.

That is the what I set out to do in life and I have been able to create a relatively harmonious life because of it.

Do I want to share?

Of course.

But only as much as you are willing to take. This site is primarily a personal journal.

So you should not weigh each and every thought you read here equally. They are not.